Let’s listen in to two friends’ conversation slash debate.
Moviegoer: Movies are better than books. They save time for the viewers and the effects and actors add more touch to the drama and action of the story.
Bookworm: Books are better than movies because they stimulate the reader’s imagination and while it does take some time reading, not a just a mere two hours in the cinema, it is better than watching the shortcut version of the novel.
Moviegoer: Some movies do not “shortcut” the story. They just omit those the director/scriptwriter feels are unnecessary for the scene.
Bookworm: That’s the whole point, when you watch movie adaptations, there are certain things missing and you do not realize it until you have already wasted your money watching it in the cinema when you could have bought the book and read it at home.
Moviegoer: Yeah, but in a movie, time is of the essence. It is limited. Think of how hard it is to squeeze a thousand page written literature piece into a two hour film. It isn’t that easy you know? You have to consider a lot of things. Dialogues do not need to be that long so as not to bore the viewers. In a book, a second might as well happen for four paragraphs or a day might total a sum of 500 pages. The effects must be there too. Actors must look like those described in the novel and that the location must be identical to what was written as it is an adaptation after all.
Bookworm: You’re proving my point of the argument you know. I’m just saying, in books, a lot of money is saved, because imagination is for free.
Moviegoer: Imagination is free to all but there’re just some things you want to see in front of you. Like how a green flashing light from a wand could kill Dumbledore or how robots underneath the sea look like. Visual effects are the reason why movies do exist and why moviegoers like me watch Twilight and do not read it.
Bookworm: Twilight is a bad book by the way, and the movie made it worse. And not just the Twilight series, I could tell you an endless list of ‘good’ books, made worse by their movie counterparts.
Moviegoer: I cannot speak for all of them, but all I can say is; whatever made the movie bad was that it was badly interpreted in the first place. If you name me movies like that, I will also name movies critically acclaimed better than their novel counterparts.
And their debate went on and on and lasted for years and years until today.
Who do you think had it right; the moviegoer or the bookworm? If you’re somewhere in between (meaning someone who watches the movie and reads the book, or vice versa), then I guess you may abstain. However, for those who absolutely wants to choose only one side, which would you prefer; the written one where you get to imagine freely and critically analyze every emotion of each of the characters, or the visual one where everything is spoon-fed for you, the character’s emotions and thoughts? In a movie released a few years back entitled “Bad Teacher” starring Cameron Diaz as the teacher who somehow became the school’s guidance counselor, she uttered these words to her fellow teacher when she was accused of letting her class watch a movie adaptation of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; “movies are the new books.” Well, are they really? Yes, a lot of movies nowadays come from best-selling novels and those in the New York Times Best Sellers List, like the Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, and countless others. Even fairytales did not escape the movie-people’s grasp. Now we have Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Huntsman, and of course, Jack the Giant Slayer. All of which were from the tales told to children long ago to put them to bed. Now, the movie-people have TWISTED the story to make it their own or at least add something new to it. But the fact remains, it all started with the book. It began with a pen and a paper.
Bookworm: I have a test you need to take.
Bookworm: Who wrote the Harry Potter books?
Moviegoer: That’s easy, J.K. Rowling. (feels good about himself)
Bookworm: Of course it is. Now, see if you can answer this. Who wrote “Jurassic Park”, “Narnia”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “Divergent”?
Bookworm: Ha! Now, let’s try the classics shall we? Who wrote the “Pride and Prejudice”, “Notting Hill”, “A Walk to Remember”, and let’s see, a classic favorite, “The Time Traveler’s Wife”? I know you’ve watched all these movies you know.
Moviegoer: Hey now! That’s not fair! Movies don’t give that kind of information!
That is right. Not all movies give away this kind of information at the start of their movie. If there ever is some acknowledging, it’d be near the credits, or if it is somehow miraculously located at the beginning of the film, it’d be like, “From the No. 1 selling book …” Let’s face it, some authors are forgotten , and viewers do not care either. Listen to one moviegoer after watching a sci-fi movie and he’d be like, “Whoo! Megan Fox was so pretty in the movie.” Now, not all moviegoers may not be like this (assuming a majority of the people who watch the movies are not after the cast but after the story), but a guarantee is that a number is certainly identifiable. Then, listen to a bookworm after he finishes reading an awesome book and he’d be like, “I totally like the story! I feel as though I can relate to Augustus Waters and how he truly loves Hazel Grace.”
Did you take the test? It’s good if you passed it. However, if you haven’t, you better think twice my dear friend. I’m just saying. Tale as old as time, true as it can be, movies and novels are both pieces of literature but are two very different things. As to why people tend to compare them, I haven’t the slightest idea. Who started it in the first place?
Well now, let’s listen once more to their conversation slash debate.
Moviegoer: I don’t care what you say! Movies are better than books!
Bookworm: Well, whatever, but I firmly state, books are better than movies.
Moviegoer & Bookworm: Fine!
Let’s hope their friendship isn’t ruined.
TOPIC: Movies vs. Books