This has basically been an age-old debate as far as I’m concerned and no matter which side you’re on, there is a passion behind it.
There have been many adaptations over the years which turned into huge Blockbusters with:
- Wizard of Oz
- Harry Potter
- Hunger Games
- Percy Jackson
- Lord of the Rings
and then some especially if we take into account children’s books/films (Disney are huge in this respect with the likes of Frozen and basically most others with a Princess in) and romance films (such as P.S I love you and although not very romantic in my opinion Fifty shades of Grey).
Both formats do have their positives and as I book reader I do see the negative side of things for example when a character isn’t depicted as how you imagined so I’m going to have a look at a couple of things from both sides:
- There has been a specific argument that has come up constantly since around 2001 due to the character not being exactly as they’re described in the book and that is the character of Harry Potter and the colour of his eyes.
- In the book they are exactly like his mothers which are a shade of green but in the film Daniel Radcliffe has blue eyes. This little fact has never bothered me as I am aware that they tried to give him green eyes but was allergic to the contact lenses but it’s now 2019 and people are still bringing this up along with the word “calmly” from a later film.
- I know how passionate people are about their favourite characters but film makers can’t audition everyone in the world to find someone who matches the characters description exactly. It’s impossible.
- In my opinion Daniel Radcliffe did an amazing job no matter what coloured eyes he has. I just feel sorry for the fact that he will forever be remembered as Harry Potter rather than Daniel Radcliffe.
- I have seen every episode of Game of Thrones and I own the books (they’re still wrapped in cellophane but that’s beside the point) and I know that some of the characters are exactly as described for example Tyrion. Peter Dinkledge plays an amazing Tyrion as far as I can tell but I know that in the books as well as being a dwarf he has an incident I believe at the battle of Blackwater where he now only has a partial nose.
- If they were to do this on every single scene (also I have 0 experience in the film industry) then there could be continuity issues or there is also the fact that it could completely gross people out. Even if they were to CGI on to Peter after filming this could be pain staking and time-consuming because he’s not exactly a minor character.
- I’m pretty certain there are more characters where they’re not exactly as they are described in the books but as someone who hasn’t (yet!) read the books this is the only example that I am sure of.
There are some stories where I had pictured things a certain way in my head but when it came to the film it wasn’t anything like what I was expecting. This could be a case of my misreading and interpreting it incorrectly or film makers using a but more artistic licence than I want. I’m not saying what they’re doing is wrong but more unexpected.
Two examples come to mind with this. The first is Divergent where I expected it to almost be like a DC film and be quite dark. With most dystopians I picture a lot of them being dark because to me these are dark futures which could be a possibility. Not everything is bright and rosey now but it could be something that could happen.
Therefore when watching the Divergent film I was surprised by how well-lit and bright some parts of it were. Like this part where Tris jumped into a hole to get to the Dauntless compound
Like I said maybe it’s me but we have The Pit. The Pit is a large cavern in the Dauntless compound and is where the Chasm is located; a large underground waterfall that flows into an underground river.
However, the darkest art I remember is when they’re playing capture the flag at night and even this wasn’t quite what I pictured:
The other example of a setting that was different from what I expected whilst reading the book was
First off you can find my book review about it here. So I actually watched the film first as I wasn’t aware it was based on a book. The few Studio Ghibli films I have watched I have thoroughly enjoyed and I know how bright they can be. That being said, when reading the book I wasnt presenting itself as colourful as Ghibli made it. This bit of animation is just simply beautiful
My head couldn’t think of something that nice. I live in the Lake District but usually there is a grey sky which will reflect into the water.
Something in Howls Moving Castle brings me onto my next point nicely.
Did you know Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle is the eldest of three girls? Yet we only see one of her sisters in the film which is Lettie that works at a bakery. In the book we also have Martha who goes to be an apprentice for a witch, while Sophie is left with the Hatshop. Theres little twists between the sisters but I’m not one for spoiling films.
Harry Potter has already been mentioned but as this is about missing characters…
Where the hell was Charlie Weasley!!
I can’t be the only one who was wanting to watch him and Bill have a table fight while setting up for the wedding can I?
There is also Peeve’s the Poltergeist and Winky the house elf, Piers Polkiss (Technically he was in the film but wasn’t), Florean Fortescue, Professor Grubly-Plank, Professor Binns, Madam Pince and probably a fair few more but let’s face it Harry Potter has a fair few missing characters.
Also, In the hungergames we’re missing Madge who was the woman who gave Katniss the MockingJay pin. She was in the books quite a lot from what I remember but not in the films at all.
Missing Story Lines:
I’m not going to provide any examples for this because it happens quite often. Although it would be nice to watch a film adaptation where they kept in every single detail from the book, some would argue that having a 9-12 hours film is ridiculous and copletely unreasonable. However, I do know of some people who probably wouldn’t mind sitting there for several hours to see every single part of their favourite book immortalised on the big screen as well as on paper.
Personally, I believe that if my favourtie book was made into a film then I would be happy, yeah there would be missing characters and plot points and maybe I’ve got the sceneary and landscape a bit muddled up in my head, but films help get the author more known, they help bring it to the main stream, they get more people buying books. More people buying books mean less bookshops closing. Which if you ask me is a win win situation.