Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why Does Hollywood Do This? or Read the Book Instead!

I just finished a fantastic book-Children of Men by P.D. James. I have wanted to read James for some time and last summer picked up Original Sin but never got into it. I had seen the movie, Children of Men several months ago. I looked forward to reading the book.

But I quickly discovered there was little in common between the book and movie, other than the title, main character's name and the vague premise (that there have been no births for the past 25 years).

One thing I noticed in the movie was the blatant political overtones-specifically toward U.S. The book's political message is simple, not directed to one particular government - power corrupts, much like the ring in Lord of the Rings.

So much was changed from book to movie, Theo's wife, the midwife, Jasper, Theo's job, the pregnant woman, emphasis on the penal colony and the issue of the Sojourners (immigrants).

Why? Why do screenwriters deem it necessary to so radically change the story, the emphasis, the scenery of a book? I understand editing is involved for brevity sake but in this particular instance it was ridiculous.

And I was reading the story, because it was so different from the movie, my imagination was free to roam and invent, apart from how the movie interpreted scenes and described characters. This summer I read the Harry Potter books and up to the Goblet of Fire I had the actors and scenes from the movie in my head. But when I read books 5, 6,and 7 my imagination was on it's own (apart from the same actors).

A couple weeks ago I read The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. The movie will be released in October. While I was reading I went to to see who would play whom. Boy, was I disappointed. They (screenwriters) moved the story from England to America and altered so many of the characters I don't know if I'll recognize the book in the movie.

It all goes back to that saying, "Read the book. It's so much better!"

Speaking of reading...I've chosen a new book for the BookClub Blogging on the 25th: The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Pick it up and read!

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