Pupil Contributions, Clifton College

Pupil Contributions, Clifton College

Rebecca Butchart: 24/01/2017

The Hunger Games, The Perks of being a Wallflower and The Help have all been made into films and have persuaded famous actors and actresses to play the roles - Katniss Everdeen played by Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Emma Stone (The Help) and Emma Watson (perks of being a Wallflower) have aso been joined by famous actors; Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) and Logan Lerman (Perks of being a Wallflower). These very well known actors and actresses are able to become the characters from the books, so that after watching the film and you read the book, that actor/actress is forever seen in your imagination as their character.

However, in my opinion, nothing can compare to the original book. I like being able to image what the characters are like, what they look like and how they act. The way the characters have to deal with the problems, it can give you advice through the book, whereas in the films, sometimes in the films the directors can’t get the same message across.

This backs up my second point -  a book can have as many pages in it as the author wants it to be as long as there is always something happening that keeps the reader interested because when reading a book you can choose when to stop. Whereas, with a film, because when the film is first released, the first time the general public see it is in a cinema, normally, you cannot just get up and leave when you want because the film won’t pause and you will miss key parts. This means the directors have to cut out certain parts of the book to make it fit into the normal time of around two hours, consequently meaning that the directors leave out the less important events, which could mean that a life lesson that one of the characters got told may not be told in the film.

An example of when the book has been better than the films are The Twilight Saga. Personally, I am not a fan of the Twilight books, but if I was to choose whether or not to read the book or to watch the films - I would choose the books. For anyone that doesn’t know, Twilight is about a girl called Bella Swan who moves to a place called Fawkes in America, where she meets a mysterious boy called Edward Cullen, where she then risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire. One reason would probably be that the acting done by Kristen Stewart isn’t that good - in my opinion, some people may disagree with me. Secondly, why I would choose the books over the film is that the directors pack everything in at once, but they do change certain bits. For example, the directors make up certain parts of the film so not to lose the audience. Sometimes, it can work and it makes a good film, however, not always.

Saying that though, some books have been transformed into films and have really succeeded - Harry Potter is an example. In 2001, the first Harry Potter book came out as a film (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) the total profit the box office made was $317,575,550 which in pounds is £244,564,489 alone. Ten years later and the total profit of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II’ was $381,011,2190.

In conclusion, I do think that books are better than films all together, but I don’t think that all films that have been made from books are all bad; it just depends on what the director makes and takes from the book.