Movie Adaptations of Books: Good or Bad?

When movie adaptations of books are made they are often analyzed very critically and receive mixed reviews. After reading many books and seeing many adaptations of these books, I have begun to wonder; are these adaptations a good or bad thing? On one hand books allow ones imagination to wander, and envision the characters in a certain way. Movie adaptations tell us that a character looks a particular way, talks a particular way, etc. On top of that these movie can misrepresent books, and are beginning to create a generation of people who are a fan of a book, but have only seen the movie. I have listed many cons of these adaptations, but there are some pros. These movies can sometimes encourage people to read the books, or further our love and understanding of something. In many cases I enjoy the movie adaptation, as a movie, though not as a rightful representation of the book.

Photo taken by myself

Photo taken by myself

I am a huge fan of both the Harry Potter books and movies, separately. There are some moments in the movies that they definitely got right, but there are also some very loved moments that they missed. I love reading the books (over and over again) but I can also often be found indulging in the movies. I love them both, but for different reasons. Yes, because of the movies I see Harry as a young Daniel Radcliffe, Hermione as a young, bushy haired Emma Watson, etc. but this doesn’t take away from my reading experience. Because I read these books first, I already had an idea of what I thought the characters were like, and every now and then, when reading the books, I can see the characters as I first saw them.


The Great Gatsby was adapted to screen by Baz Luhrmann in 2013 to the happiness of some and dismay of others. Which was my reaction? It was mixed. While I though Leonardo Dicaprio made a great Gatsby (pun intended), I was not pleased with the musical choices made. The soundtrack was very good, but it simply did not fit with the film. The Great Gatsby is a book about the jazz age and the 1920’s, so it was very odd to me that they didn’t include 1920’s jazz in the movie. Instead, they took a modern approach. There are elements of this film that I liked, but the musical accompaniment didn’t pay tribute to this classic.

These are just a couple of examples of books that were later adapted to screen. How do you feel about screen adaptations of books?




6 thoughts on “Movie Adaptations of Books: Good or Bad?

  1. I love books and I love films. Truthfully, the book is usually better. However, if I loved a book, I’ll want to see the movie version, even if it pales in comparison. I think some stories are better suited to various methods of storytelling, not that either books or films are inherently superior. I feel sorry for people who don’t know the joy of reading ( like my husband).

  2. adaptations are usually anticipated. when you’ve watched the movie, you’re often disappointed. exception: first wives’ club. good film. bad, really bad book.

  3. There are some books that should stay just books. But when a director can capture the beauty of a story, I love it. It’s amazing and gorgeous and well worth the money. But then there’s directors that just mess everything up. So definitely mixed opinions.

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