Unpopular Opinion: I despise book-to-movie adaptations.
The Perks of Being A Wallflower movie is coming out soon and now people are clamoring to get their copies of the book so that they can be part of the fandom. And you know what I think? “Ugh, not again.” Ever since the production for the movie started, a lot of people became suddenly interested with the book. I don’t know if it’s because the movie stars Logan Lerman and Emma Watson or they really are interested in the book, but nonetheless, from what I can remember, there weren’t this much people who gave a rat’s ass on this book before. I even had a hard time looking for a copy and had to order mine. Now the books are just displayed out there in every bookstore I know.
Although most book lovers I know are crazed when their favorite literary pieces come to life in movies, I can’t help but feel irritated about it. I know page-to-screen adaptation is very helpful in terms of promotional aspects for the books, but then when you come to think of it, somehow, the reason behind wanting to read these books becomes a bit more superficial.
First of all, I hate the fact that some people just buy and read the books for the sake of being “in”. I know a lot of people from my school who bought The Hunger Games trilogy when the movie came out. Well, it’s not a bad thing to want to know more about the story, but what’s bothering me is that they use the books as some fashion statement of sorts, bringing them wherever or taking pictures with captions saying how much they love the series, when in fact, they haven’t even touch a single book before that. Maybe I am being selfish or what, but I feel that the value of these precious books decreases as they are regarded as a fad or a trend.
Second, I also notice that some people prefer the characters who were portrayed by “beautiful” actors in their movie counterparts. I can say this much is true with Never Let Me Go, with Andrew Garfield playing the role of Tommy. And who can forget the obsessed moms who swooned crazily over Edward Cullen played by Robert Pattinson? No matter how bad the books are, people bought it for the sake of proving how much a fan they are of their books, without actually reading deeper and understanding the stories.
Third is that some people don’t even bother reading the books because watching the movie is much easier. And that makes me angry because I think it’s unfair for the authors how people neglect the original plot and are contented with what’s in the film. Even the Harry Potter films are nothing compared to the books. I for one, is a huge fan and was so disappointed when my favorite parts from the book were cut from the movie. Book-to-movie adaptations makes people lazier. Plus, there are some who claim to be total fans without even opening the book version of the movies they so dearly love. I have this friend who was so deeply moved by the ending My Sister’s Keeper and yet she was so surprised and upset when I told her that it was different and the exact opposite what happened the one in the book.
Lastly, also the top reason I hate book-to-movie adaptations, is that these films ruin the freedom that their book counterparts give me. Without the movie, my mind is free to imagine how the characters and settings look. I can picture every single detail as described in the authors’ words the way I want them to appear in my head. But with the movies casting the roles of my favorite characters into various different artists, I feel that my imagination was caged into a box I couldn’t escape. Suddenly, whenever I read the books again, all I could see are the faces of the actors who portrayed them. Peeta is Josh Hutcherson who isn’t actually blond and fit the description for Peeta. Percy is Logan Lerman even if Percy is supposed to be a 12-year old kid. I cannot break the connection and with that, I feel frustrated because for me, the purpose of these books is to let my mind wander off into distant places, depending on how I understand them. And what these movies do is to rob me off that privilege and leave me stuck with what they have set for their viewers.