Point/Counterpoint: Are book-turned-movies enjoyable?


Saahir Mawani

“The Hunger Games” is one book that was turned into a movie. Reporter Eyesha Sadiq thinks the movies help the books make more sense, while reporter Hannah Mathew thinks the movies consistently miss the mark.

Against book-turned movies: Hannah Mathew

Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do. Opening a book is like going on an adventure and, throughout my life, I’ve seen many classics ruined by film adaptations. When I read Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series, I enjoyed it, and was really excited when I found out there was a movie adaptation, only to be crushed by the sheer ridiculousness of the film. This complaint is applicable to many other book-turned movies — they simply cannot compare to the original book. 

Often in movies, characters are personified in completely different ways. For example, the popular book-turned-movie series “Harry Potter,” in which characters are wildly misinterpreted. In the movies, characters such as Ron Weasely and Hermione Granger were portrayed in ways the books never touched on. Weasely became angry rather than humorous and Granger was no longer a relatable, academically-skilled fire from the books. Rather, she was a snotty know-it-all whose character was far from admirable.

There is also the issue of plot. Movies often glance over important parts of books. When looking in comparison from book to movie, any reader would be shocked at the stark differences. The three movies in the “Divergent” series barely touch on important scenes. Beatrice Prior, the main character, also loses some of her own arc, along with characters like Christina and Isaiah becoming glorified side characters rather than essential elements of the series like they originally were.

These movies also miss the mark on visual elements. CGI and casting can make movies almost unrecognizable to the description that they came from. Sometimes characters’ film portrayal of narration throws off everything. I originally loved “ The Book Thief” because of its strong imagery, but the narration by Death isn’t portrayed well at all in the movie.

Book-turned movies may be good for those who can’t sit through books, but they often destroy or completely gloss over messages, and ruin amazing books. Reading is a living essential and often, these movies take people away from reading these classics for themselves. 

For book-turned movies: Eyesha Sadiq

Books and movies have always given me a sense of comfort. I have always loved reading, but I struggle with fully understanding the interpretation in a book. When popular books get made into movies, it is easier for me to understand the true meaning of the book. I love seeing the characters come to life and build a reality — it feels like your own imagination is coming to life. 

Popular books such as “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Harry Potter,” “Wonder” and “The Hunger Games” have all been made into successful movies. When books are made into movies, it promotes both the author and the book. Many people who do not read or have a difficult time reading are still able to enjoy the story with a movie, just in a different way. When these movies are shown, people tend to read the book later on because they are invested in the storyline. 

When I was younger, I tried my hardest to read the first “The Hunger Games” book, but I could not get through it because of how bored I would get. Also, during some books, the author spends a lot of time explaining the setting, which can bore the reader. When I watched the first “Hunger Games” movie, I was entertained and loved the storyline. I enjoyed the plot, the characters and the setting. Movies are easier for me to understand, and I can still relate and consume the same content of the book just from watching it. 

For people like me who don’t have that much time to read but still want to enjoy stories, the best way to be able to get the meaning of a book is through watching the movie. Movies allow people to see what is actually happening, especially when they have a hard time imagining characters or settings. I know many people who have a hard time imagining ideas in their head, and movies allow them to see a book in a different way and visually understand it. 

When books get adapted into movies, it gives a chance for people to relate content to their daily lives that they may not have been able to before. I really enjoy movies and can’t wait for more of my favorite books to turn into movies. Not only do book-turned movies expand my collection, but they allow me to see my imagination become a reality.