The one category of movies, in which you never have the audience reach a general consensus of good or bad, is when the movie is based on a book. People who have read the book usually find the movie awful, while the ones who haven’t read it, find it great.
Why is it so Hard to Please the Book Lovers?
A common complaint is that the finer details are deleted, which is why book fans hated Harry Potter movies. The books have so many magical events mentioned that have been ignored in the movies, like the Quidditch Cup in the third part, the fight between death-eaters and Hogwarts in the sixth, and endless other things.
Moreover, they also failed to capture the humour, which Rowling weaved so effortlessly in her books. Readers’ felt that the movies simply failed to capture the essence that made the books so amazing.
Some films like The Princess Diaries went to change the story quite a bit rather than a simple tweaking. Also, many movies which were based on highly complicated books, like The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, could simply not pack as much information in their 90 minute time frame.
Fans were especially disappointed, since the books had so many interesting snippets which enhanced and explained the plot clearly. These movies were difficult to follow, for the ones who hadn’t read the books, and lots of parts were confusing.
An excellent example of a complete disaster version of a good book is the Jackie Chan starrer Around the World in Eighty Days. Not only did they give it a completely new angle, but they also changed the protagonist from Mr Fogg to Passepartout. People, who went in expecting the original story, were hugely disappointed and the movie in itself failed to captivate the non-readers.
In the movie-maker’s defense, it’s impossible to make a movie which fulfills a reader’s expectations. When one reads a book, they run it in their minds like their own private movie. Every one interprets the settings, characters, events in their own way, which is impossible to duplicate.
This is why some hate the actors, who play the leads in Twilight, while some really feel that the movies have stuck more or less to the books.
Although it is difficult to please the audience, which has already formed a picture in its mind, some directors did manage this task. You have movies like Lord of the Rings, The Devil Wears Prada, The Godfather, Jurassic Park and a handful few, where the book lovers and non-readers alike have enjoyed the movie even if a few things were excluded or tweaked.
All the debate over these movies notwithstanding, there is no going around the fact that movies based on a famous book becomes one of the most awaited films by book lovers, and non-readers alike. Hence, it’s no surprise that every one’s waiting for November when the final installment of Twilight series, Breaking Dawn is releasing, even if it’s just to point out the flaws!