Thursday, April 22, 2010

when prose doesn't translate well...

okay. i'm sure we've all been here. but how many times have you waited (in impatient agony) for the release of a novel-based movie--and it completely fell short of your expectations?

what makes it so hard to traslate a book into the expressions and words of the actors on the screen?

why does the movie often lack the same heart and spirit as the book?

why are the books so much more powerful, or funny, or exciting, or magical?

can it really be blamed on bad actors, horrible screen writing, or inadequate special effects?

do we perhaps bring in too many of our own personal expectations? (ie. i saw that scene running differently in my head, no he was supposed to say it with a different/deeper inflection, OMG that is not what [insert beloved character's name] is supposed to look like!!)

now, this isn't to say that disappointment is always the case--sometimes the movie does translate very well. but then that raises the question of why did this movie work and that one didn't..?

i don't know the answers. im not even going to pretend. so i'm asking you, what do YOU think?

*note: pictures are meant to inspire thoughfulness, not anger. i am not saying any of these movies are bad, so if you like them, please don't be offended.


  1. uggghhh. I have this problem all the time. Sometimes I'm terrified to see the movie of a book that I loved bc it might just crush my little heart to see such a beautiful story mishandled.

    My example: Where the Wild Things Are. I read the story to myself several times a year and it always inspires me. The movie made me never want to look at the book again--and I tried tried tried to be open minded!

    However, so far I'm not disappointed in the Harry Potter movies.

  2. yes! that's exactly how I feel, too! i couldn't have said it better.
    i think the Twilight movies were my biggest disappointment--i liked everything about them except for Stewart and Pattinson's acting :(
    i haven't read Where the Wild Things Are before...maybe i should!

    Thank you for the comment <3


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