How faithful do you like your adaptations?

  1. EJDeBrun

    EJDeBrun Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2016
    Book adaptations come in 2 categories:

    1) taking the premise of the book and then reworking it in the director/studio's own image. Examples: Edge of Tomorrow. Howl's Moving Castle. How to Train Your Dragon. James Bond.

    Totally fine, so long as the original creator is cool with someone else messing with their world. Interpretations are there for expanding ideas right?

    2) taking the actual heart and soul of a book and trying to translate that to a different medium. Examples: Harry Potter, LOTR (sorry my example are really generic.)

    #1 can be done really well so long as you don't get too hung up on the "faithfulness"

    #2 is where the path to BAD usually leads. Mainly because productions were basically handed a blueprint in the novel, told to do that, and then decide they MUST PUT THEIR OWN CREATIVE SPIN ON IT!

    Essentially, individual, OUTSIDE ego gets thrust into the films and ruin its adaptation.

    Now that has nothing to do with changes! You can totally make changes and still make something very true to the original work (Pride and Prejudice from 2005 comes to mind) But on the other hand, if your changes are simply for the sake of your own interpretation that has little respect or understanding of the original work then... it's going to suck. (PJ, I'm looking at you Razing of the Shire)

    See the case of The Count of Monte Cristo. It's been adapted tons of times and yet no one has quite gotten it right. For some reason everyone has decided they needed to make it a "happy ending" or that Mercedes couldn't be quite the lame that she was in the original. I'm not quite sure, but every adaption of it has ended up with strange choices that really destroy the original concept of the book. (it's about revenge and salvation, dammit. Not LOVE)


    Anyways, HP is a good example of really not knowing where to take the original work, especially from book to book. I thought the loss of humor really made the film series dreary, and while I applaud their visuals, I thought the overall direction and pacing were incoherent and often times confusing. It was not the kind of film where you could watch them without knowledge of the books and enjoy them.

    And that's the ultimate goal with #2. If you're supposed to faithfully recreate the original work in a different medium, you should leave your audience with the same feelings and emotions they would have had reading the book. Not doing so means that your own comprehension of the work is lacking.

    Anyways, that's been my take on these things.

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