I just finished reading the Harry Potter series for the first time today. Yes, I have that weird feeling of emptiness because I’ll never be reading more about “The Boy Who Lived”. Anyway, I’m not here to burden/entertain you with my sob stories. So like I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, the books seem to be popular everywhere; even more so among my classmates. They were naturally appalled when they learned that I hadn’t ever read the books or watched any of the movies. A lot of them gave me their much-appreciated feedback on the books, and even fangirled with me on a few occasions. (HARRY AND GINNY FOREVER <3) A lot of others also warned me not to expect too much from the movies, as they didn’t quite live up to THEIR expectations. Those constant warnings and a conversation I had with my classmate about them recently led to my writing this blog.
We see a lot of our favorite books being featured on the big screen nowadays. When news gets out that one of our favorite books is being made into a movie, it naturally brings about a sense of elation and excitement among us. I think it’s because of our love for the book, that we expect a lot from the movie. The way a certain character looks, how a particular scene needs to be enacted, what the background needs to be like, etc. What we fail to understand is that, an interpretation of a book differs from individual to individual. The movie, for example, is solely the director’s interpretation of the book. I feel that the director has the right to change stuff from the book in the movie, because it’s his movie and he has actually bought the rights for it. The movie is merely adapted from the book, and who says that it has to be exactly the same?
When we read books, we sometimes picture the details in our head. Some of us have a complete description of what a particular character is like in our head – his voice, hairstyle, height, weight, dressing style, walk, etc; others have a vague image of the person, or maybe just his face; still others don’t really know how to describe what their image of the person is like, and just read without creating an image of the scenes in their head. So, we find that there are different types of readers. Everyone has a unique sense of creativity. Some readers concentrate on every little detail, and others just pick out main parts of the story. How, then, can we expect a movie to be suited to everyone’s liking?
Find a book that has been turned into a movie, and you’ll find a bunch of people with all sorts of criticism. I’ll admit that I’ve also compared books to movies in the past, but when I sat back and thought about it, I realized that it didn’t really make sense trying to even connect the two, because they’re both different in their own way. Not all of us read books, and the movies are sometimes made for those who prefer watching stories, rather than reading about them.
My point is, yes, I know we are sometimes left disappointed because the movies aren’t as good as the books according to us, or because they cut a lot of relevant parts and characters (which is just unfair, really), but maybe we should try to watch a movie that is an adaptation of a book with a clear mind, and not think of it as that book that changed our life or whatever, the next time we go out to watch our favorite book on the big screen. Maybe, then, we can just perceive the movie for what it is, and not as a copy of the book, which it failed to live up to.
I just got done reading all the Harry Potter books, and now I intend to watch the movies, because I would like to see it come to life. But I’m going push out all my “expectations” of it, and then see what it’s like.
PS: Thank you, J K Rowling. You’re a legend.