Which was better, the book or the movie?
May 21, 2015
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Books often lay the foundation for movie adaptations, giving viewers of a film the expectation that the movie will be an exact interpretation of the book. However, sometimes directors take liberties in their films that digress from the book plot. These differences can either add to the excitement of the movie or completely lead to the film’s downfall.
The Book Thief
“The Book Thief” is a story treasured by readers everywhere. It would therefore only make sense that a film adaptation of this touching story would be somewhat challenging. However, director Brian Percival did a sublime job transferring “The Book Thief” from the page to the big screen. The casting is, firstly, flawlessly chosen. Geoffrey Rush plays a loving, compassionate father to Liesel, played by Sophie Nelisse. Nelisse is able to show the maturity that her role required and help the viewers feel every emotion that Liesel experienced. In the story, there is an overwhelming theme of words and their power. Thankfully, this theme is also incorporated into the movie in an important and powerful way. The only noticeable difference between the book and the movie is simply the general order in which events occur. Much of the story is cut to fit into a small running time and the relationships between characters is often cut off prematurely. However, the movie adaptation was shown incredibly and could not have been told better by any other director.
The story of “Divergent,” written by Veronica Roth, takes on a very complicated plot. Roth pieces together a society in which five different ideologies are formed together into five different factions of humanity, each of which values one of those traits. These factions include Abnegation, the selfless faction, Erudite, a group of the most brilliant minds, Candor, the honest people, Amity, the lighthearted and Dauntless, the brave. The story follows Beatrice, a member of Abnegation who is a Divergent, meaning she has a mind that would thrive in multiple factions. Throughout the novel, Beatrice, “Tris,” battles the government, joins Dauntless and fights for her life. Director Neil Burger took on the challenge of bringing the story to the big screen. While Burger did an excellent job developing the plot, there are some unsettling differences between the book and the movie that left fans a bit disappointed. For example, many of the situations were not realistic as to what the book described, some of the characters were much less intense than their book-selves and the love story seemed too fake and superficial. The liberties taken for the plot of the movie do not, however, take away from the viewers main understanding of the plot. The story is shown very well and the actors chosen in the cast were very well-picked. However, the movie does not accurately capture the true energy of the book but does capture more of the romance between Tris and Four. Word of advice: read the book first if you want to completely grasp the way the story was truly intended to be told.
Perks of Being a Wallflower
Anyone who has been in middle or high school in the past few years has more than likely read or at least heard of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” The book was a discussion among parents, students and educators in the early 2000s and it even made it onto the banned books list due to its frequent references to sex, drugs and bad behavior. However, despite the constant debates and over-complication of the plot, it is still a story about growing up and finding one’s place in the world. The story is about Charlie, a high school student who does not fit in with the popular kids and struggles to find his place in school. The plot is easy to relate to and showcases the typical teenage life many have known. When the movie came out, there was no disappointment among viewers. The movie was directed, written and produced by Stephen Chbosky, the author of the book. Because the author was so involved in this adaptation, the movie was every bit as much as an emotional roller coaster as the book. The actors were cast beautifully; no one could never imagine anyone else to portray the trio of the nonconformist friends we all hope to have. No matter if you see the movie first or if you read the book first, both are very similar and give off the same feelings of growing up that we can all relate to.