4 October 2014

Book Banter #4 - Book vs Film: 5 Reasons Why Books are Better


I think (hope) that everyone in the book community can agree that on the most part, books tend to be better than their film counterparts. Today I am delving into why I think that is:

1. There are more subplots.
With films, you can never squeeze all of the plot into the film, so they tend to edit out any unnecessary subplots. Part of what made Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire so great was the Rita Skeeter 'bugging' storyline, but although the film did show her, she was never really a problem for Harry. Although this was quite a long way out from the main plot, it added a little bit of hilarity which is lacking in the film.

2. The characters have more depth.
Books take the time to explore their protagonists and give you an insight into how and what they think. Some of that thought can translate really badly into film and leave characters with little substance. Twilight is a prime example of this because most of what you see in the film is outright staring when there is actually an eloquent and often amusing thought process going through Bella's head.

3. You imagine it how you want to. 
Films are great for giving you a visual of the world that characters live in, but because it is an intrinsic, rigid part, it leaves no room for the imagination. Many readers experience disappointment when a film depicts something as entirely different to how they imagined it, whether that is a character or scenery. This happened to me when I saw Divergent and the Dauntless living space felt much more safe and less awesome than it has been described.

4. You are exposed to more emotion.
You know exactly how the characters feel when you read a book. With film there is more guesswork involved. Some things that seem so heightened in the mind can translate as an emotionless expression because that is how the character wants to be perceived on the outside. Or perhaps the actor cannot express the correct level of pain, sadness or love across to the audience.

5. You become part of the story.
I have never sat down to watch something and found myself entirely immersed in it. No matter how hard they try, the effects and the 3D will never be realistic enough. You can always remind yourself that the movie is not real and you are always set apart as a viewer watching a screen. In a book, it is just you and the words, and somehow your mind fills with images and sounds, placing you inside the protagonist or the situation. Honestly, whenever I try to remember reading a story, my mind comes back with what I imagined instead of the words on the page. While films may be trying to bridge that gap, for now books win on this front.

What do you think? Are books or films better? Do you know a film that has totally immersed you?

Disclaimer: This is my opinion only and is meant to be part of a discussion. It is not meant to inflame or insult