As an overall rule, we can assume that the book was better than the movie (any book, any movie). There are a few exceptions, but most the time people agree that books simply have a better ability to provide more details to the story. Fans of certain books will get hyped when they hear their favorite novel is going to be turned into a film, but they often find themselves disappointed. That is because the book is going to be better.
When you are about to view a movie based on a book that you love, remember that you’re dealing with two separate mediums. If you go into a movie expecting it to be a word for word copy of the book, you’re going to be disappointed. Understand that what makes a good book doesn’t necessarily make an interesting movie. Movies are created not only for fans of the preexisting novel, but for a larger audience that never read the novel. Filmmakers may make decisions that stray from the novel’s direct plot in order to make a more efficient and watchable film, that doesn’t mean you should hate it.
When evaluating a movie’s dedication to the book, try to forget about plot. It can be upsetting to discover a film completely omitted your favorite minor character, but that omission is not what makes it a bad representation. What’s important from a film adaptation is that they captured the general lessons or themes from the film. If the novel taught readers a lesson about accepting others and the film displays a defense of selfishness, then it can be considered a bad adaptation.
In the end the movie and the book can both be good even if they exist in two separate universes. Even if the theme, plot, and characters are vastly different, it’s possible the filmmakers still created a good movie. This movie would just exist separate from the book that inspired audiences to see the film in the first place. Don’t be ashamed to enjoy a film, even if it’s not loyal to the book!
by Hallie Eickhoff