The art of adaptation is a tricky one. When people decide to make a movie or television series based on a novel, comic book or even stage play, they must walk a fine line between staying true to the book so that they do not upset fans, and also creating something that will translate well to the screen.
Sometimes this means excluding things from the source material.
Last August, I discovered the Hunger Games trilogy of books. I was amazed by these books, which manage to include both social commentary and strange science fiction elements. Last week, I went to the midnight opening of the Hunger Games movie. And, while the true message of the book was in the film, I still found myself a little disappointed with the things that hadn’t made it from the book to the screen.
Some scenes felt rushed, and others failed to reveal character motivation. Because of this, it made some of the characters’ actions unbelievable. Be that as it may, I have to admit this was the best book to film I have seen in a long time.
Movies like The Lighting Thief and Eragon, which were both based on bestselling novels, completely abandoned the elements readers loved from the books when they were translated to the screen.
Heck, if one has read the Harry Potter book series in its entirety and watched the films, you’ll notice that there was plenty left out of the movies, and sometimes those things left big gaping plot holes.
I know the art of adapting a book into a film is a complicated process and not everything from the page can make it to the screen. But I believe that if things will be left out, something that equally makes sense should be added in to avoid making certain aspects of the story flat out stupid.
At this point, I’m sure the Hunger Games has made millions and the next two books will definitely be adapted into movies. I can only hope that in the future, the filmmakers will be more careful of things they choose to leave out of the film.