Musings on the Art of Writing

As a child, I discovered fantastic worlds created in books. When I began writing about the worlds of my own imagination, I realized how hard authors work to set their characters free to live for our enjoyment. This blog will explore that weird and wonderful process.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Are Movies Better?

Are movies better/worse than the books they are based on?  It will always be a debate because those who have read the books, see the characters differently from what is portrayed in the movie.  Also, without an annoying voice-over, you don't know what the characters are thinking.  You don't smell, taste, or feel what the characters do -- something a book can convey but is hard to show in a movie.

Last night, I saw the film, The Hunger Games (see previous post) and wondered how they would adapt a first-person narrative to the silver screen.  There were many quiet moments when you know what Katniss is thinking (if you'd read the book) but she never tells the audience.  Her actual hunger, a gnawing theme throughout the book, is ignored in the movie.  We never see her stuffing herself with food or understand in her overwhelming thirst when she's in the game arena.  We only glimpse the oppression under which District 12 suffered and her father's memory is a brief moment.

We do see many 'behind the scenes' scenes that can't be shown from Katniss' point of view.  How the games are staged and the reaction of those viewing them.  We get a hint of what is told in Catching Fire and Mockingjay about the society that would stage such games but we don't really see this world through Katniss' eyes at all.

I think the movie stands alone as a good one but many fans might be disappointed that it didn't 'follow' the book.  Yes, all the elements were there but because the story had to be told in two hours, much was lost.  My hubby, who began The Hunger Games a few weeks ago, decided, after seeing the movie, that it lacked detail so he'll finish reading the book despite knowing the ending.

If the film encourages people to read the books, then I think it has done more than just entertain.

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