“The book was way better.” How many times have you heard that after walking out of a movie theater? If you are anything like me, you have heard this a lot. But the thing is, although the normal follow up to this statement is, “the book is always better” I pose another view.
Warning, I am a Hagrid sized Harry Potter fanatic.
When the Harry Potter series was set to become a movie series as well,I was very young. This did not stop me from begging my parents to bring me to every single one. I read the first three books and then went to see the movie. Although they were similar, they were still different at times. Initially this aggravated me but I feel that I was still to young to properly state my opinion. Now that I’m a few years older I make it a tradition to come home and watch the movies throughout the year. Especially around the holiday season.
Something that this past year has taught me was to pay attention to one minor detail at the end of any film that was originally a book. “Based on the novel by…” This is exactly what the movie is. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the completely eliminated massive chunks of storyline that I had grown to love. So you can only imagine my fury when I sat down in the IMAX 3D theater to watch this trash of a movie that they were trying to call my beloved Harry Potter ATGOF. Looking back now however I realize that the movie was based on the books. It was not intended to be a visual representation of the books.
There are ways that studios have gone about adressing this matter though. Adding in “deleted scenes” or mentioning in the commentary at very least why they decided not to put in certain parts or better yet why they added certain touches or even whole SCENES! (I’m looking at you David Yates. Burning the Burrow in OOTF? And what in God’s name was with Harry and Hermione BEING NAKED IN DEATHLY HALLOWS PART ONE?!”)
*Ahem* I apologize.
Let’s take a look at something that I think the fim industry did right. First off the notion that a book contains too much information to be condensed into at very most a two hour time slot is elementary my dear readers. There needs to be something that a company can do to produce a feature length film and still please its audience. Well there’s a saying in theater. “If you screw up, the audience probably won’t know. The audience is stupid. So act like it didn’t happen and everything will be fine.” This of course isn’t exactly true. You fumble a line? Fine, make your best effort to recover and move on. HOWEVER! As the executives at Blizzard have learned, you really have to know your audience before you go ahead and make a move that wasn’t completely thought out.
So how do we fix this terrible flaw? We can look to another wizarding classic, the Lord of the Rings.
(Happy new year!)
They had an idea that wasn’t all that complex. They took the movie and produced two versions of the films. One as a theatrical version that would fulfill the time for a feature length film, and then another as an “extended version” in which they added in all the extra information that the theatrical versions left out. In my opinion this was a much better idea than any other option for one reason. The people who read the books deserve to be pleased by these movies. They love the story. They don’t necessarily care for the acting done by Orlando Bloom. (Even if he is a sexy elf.) So if the story is the main focus of the audience, then why would the directors want to deliver anything but the story the viewers want? It seems strange to me. But by doing what they did with LOTR, they made both audiences happy. The non-readers who wanted to appreciate the movies for an incredible fantasy based thrill ride through Mordor, and the readers who wanted to see what they have been visualizing for years.
If directors could take a tip from this notion then I think the movie world would be a lot more respected. The piece of parchment said, “based on” the books. Put the extra effort in and make everyone happy. Well, not everyone, but at least me and anyone who agrees. Can I get a show of hands? Good.