Book Blogger Hop: May 18th | Adaptation Regrets
What were your worst movies based off of books?
‘Book Blogger Hop’ is hosted by CoffeeAddictedWriter.
Ah, my time to shine. The bibliophile who’s a graduated film student.
Now, as an avid reader with an extended diploma in Creative Media Production, you would think I’d have a variety of good answers to this question. However, I do not. I also think that may be due to the fact that this day has somewhat got away from me and so I am rushing this answer, so I may just not be able to pinpoint any examples. That being said, I do have a few feelings about certain film adaptations and, in general, I am hesitant to approach book-to-film adaptations with high expectations.
One of the things that I learnt through my oh-so-extensive media production course is that the film industry loves to change things to make money. This is one of the reasons why so many book-to-film adaptions turn out worse than they could’ve been. Everything – especially in the Hollywood film industry – is done with the thought of revenue in mind. Who they cast depends on who will bring in the most audience attention – who has the biggest fanbase already established that will go and see the film. They write the film with the tropes that they know appeals to the specific target audience. A lot of the time, films don’t stay true to the books they’re based on because the writers and directors don’t think the book’s story alone is enough to bring in enough money that will make the film worth it. They want to turn a profit, so they loosely base the premise of the film off the plot of a book, call it an adaptation, but then change it in every way that they can to make the most money from it once it’s released.
I’m a big fan of ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series by Cassandra Clare. Whilst I know that she as an individual is rather problematic, I like the series and the characters that are portrayed. I don’t like the way that some elements of the storyline focus on certain ‘sibling relationships’ but, overall, I think it’s a great series and it’s one that captivated me from the start. So, once I knew that there was going to be a film adaptation, I was somewhat excited but also hesitant to get my hopes up.
I was right to be hesitant, in my opinion. Whilst I completely understand that some people will love the film and think it summarises the series perfectly, I had quite a lot of issues with it. Not only did the casting seem completely botched, but the entire production of the film seemed to be all over the place. That being said, I absolutely adore Robert Sheehan and I believe he made the perfect Simon and I still love him with all my heart. Apart from that, I don’t think any of the cast members really did a good job of portraying their characters in a way that rang true to the books. I think it generally also received such a negative response that it ruined the chance of the continuation of the book series being made into more films too. That being said, I do like the ‘Shadowhunters’ series that’s been created and seems to be doing fairly well. Whilst the actors are somewhat new to the scene and sometimes the acting seems off, I enjoy it more than I enjoyed the film. I generally think that the book series makes a better television series too, rather than a film, because there’s so much to be covered. So, yeah, I really like the series, I think the casting is so much better, and I think it gives the chance for new actors to break out and showcase their talent. The character portrayals seem to be much truer to that of the book series and, of course, there are still issues with the plot-line and some of the elements of the narrative being thrown in for no reason, the film was not good at all. The construction of the narrative and the run-up to the major plot points of the book series weren’t handled in the right manner and, in that sense, the writers kind of shot themselves in the foot regarding the production of future films.
Likewise, whilst I haven’t read the book and can’t speak much for the adaptation, I did watch ‘The Girl On The Train’ in the cinema and I felt like I was sitting there for about 5 hours. Like I said, I haven’t read the book, but the film has rather also worked to put me off considering reading the book in the future due to how boring and drawn-out they made it seem. I know that the film received a largely negative response from the fans of the book and, honestly, I’m not surprised. The narrative was constructed oddly and it just worked to be immensely confusing and I grew bored with it.
Now, I’m not claiming to be the person who has any right to judge book to film adaptations and I’m sure that I would completely botch an adaptation as well, but I have had quite a vast range of experience in analysing a range of films in lengthy 30,000-word essays. Again, if you love one of the films that I mentioned, that’s completely great! Everybody has different opinions and different thoughts and preferences, and this is my own specific answer to the question. Again, I’m not an expert, I just have industry knowledge due to lengthy education of it, haha.
That being said, there have been a lot of recent book-to-film adaptions that I have not yet seen (shocking, for a person with a media production diploma, I know) due to the fact that I have just got back to the UK after living in South Africa for 5 months. The family members of mine who I was staying with for, some reason, don’t see the joy of television or films, and everybody refused to take me to the mall for the cinema. Plus, the internet connection in South Africa is terrible, so streaming is out of the question. In short: I have a lot of films and adaptations to catch up on, so this answer is not that relevant to films that may be out right now. Plus, I don’t really want to watch book to film adaptions of books I want to read because I feel like the film could potentially spoil the book, if you know what I mean.
What about you? Do you have any book-to-film adaptations that you can’t stand? Or have any films ruined the book for you? Let me know your own answer and you might remind me of another film I didn’t particularly like. Or maybe you loved one of the aforementioned films – please feel free to share your opinion and tell me why! if you posted your own response to this week’s question, feel free to leave a link and I’ll check it out.