Recently my favorite book portal (Polish) posted on their Facebook page a question. “Do you prefer to read book first, or maybe watch movie adaptation?”. That made me thinking and my post would be a reply to that question.
I always prefer book, as movie adaptation is always worse. You simply can’t contain 300 pages in 90 minutes, it’s impossible. Something would always be cut. Not to mention that movies often have really invasive producers with their “excellent” ideas how to make particular scene, or entire movie, better. Want an example? Read “Phantoms” by Dean Koontz and you’ll see. Great book and lame movie. Not to mention my favorite example “Dreamcatcher” by Stephen King, where movie stripped entire psychological edge which was core of the book.
But there are exceptions. Sometimes I like to see a picture instead. Yes, instead, not before. If I’ve watched the movie I would never read book, because I know how it would end, so what’s the point. One exception is “Flashforward”, but I’ve read the book only because they’ve cancelled the show. This was also one of my biggest surprises as book is quite different from the movie (starting with the fact that action is not taking place in USA). But lets get back to the subject. I like to watch a film when I don’t care much about the subject, so I just want to have some glance into it, but details are not important to me. Examples? Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. These are not the titles I would waste my time on (and no matter how fast you read it would be always slower than 90 minutes per book). I know that both titles have a lot of fans (not to say gazillions), but they just don’t have this magnitude towards my person.
And there is third case when I would read the book and then want to see the picture just to compare my imagination with creation of director and actors combined talents. Sometimes it’s good (Carrrie), sometimes it’s not (already pointed Dreamcatcher). But this is the only possible order by which I would both read book and watch a movie.