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Movie or Novel. Which is Better?

The Novel.  No question about it- movies made from adaptations – a screenplay written based upon a novel –  as opposed to an original screenplay- based upon the creators own story idea -can be remarkable. But I have rarely found them to equal the book.

This needs to be differentiated from a book being written based upon an original movie- so backwards. They are rarely up to the task either.

A screenplay used to be designed around 120 pages- one minute of screen time per page. Most movies today are less than two hours (120 minutes) because frankly they are less expensive to make and still bring in the same box office book versus moviereceipts. I doubt any if you have ever thought you were being cheated because a movie wasn’t a full two hours long-  so the real issue in writing an adaptation is how do you condense a 400 – to potentially a 1000 page novel into 120 pages likely less. It’s a dilemma.

We have recently seen multiple movies based upon a written work to serialize the story. I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings films but I enjoyed the novels (also broken up) much, much more.

A film cannot,  even with its scenery or its visual art replace your mind’s eye and your own “film” that goes on in your brain. It cannot fully show the complex personalities and interrelationships because there simply is not the time to develop them.

Movies are forced to skip intricate parts to simplify them to make them fit. Sometime characters are cut altogether, or two  or more characters combined into one. [newsletter_lock]

I love to see films of all types. For me it is a way to explore a story in a relaxing atmosphere. But I always will separate out those movies that are epic and read the novel first. As a result, while I might be impressed with the film, I have insight the author of the book intended that I rarely get from the movie no matter how well it is done.

So what are your thoughts? Novels or movies; which do you prefer and why?


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