To mentally prepare myself for the coming weekend and the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I wanted to put the debate of books and movies back out there. I did not grow up a Lord of the Rings fan, but the first I heard about it, I got my hands on as many books about Middle Earth as possible. I immersed myself into the world and I must say I was a fan from word one. There are critics that take pause with the flowing, flowery words and descriptions of J.R.R Tolkien, but to me, it’s magic. So to say the least, I am a huge fan of Tolkien’s work, so after the completion of the first LOTR installments, I was overjoyed to hear that The Hobbit would be next to come to the big screen.
I have read many reviews for the first movie and a lot of people have their qualms about it and let me just say when I heard it was going to be a movie, then a trilogy from that book, that book, I was shocked! The Hobbit is one book, where not a whole lot of action happens, yet they wanted to make that one book into three, not one, but three separate movies. I calmed my excitement of the announcement of the movie releases and began to really think about what three movies would mean to this book that I loved. Peter Jackson would have to do a lot of insertions to the novel in order to keep the movies entertaining.
Watching the previews for the newest The Hobbit, which will be released nation wide at midnight, I see that majority of this film, has to be from the head of Jackson and company. I must admit that being a fan of the novel, I had my doubts in the first film, but what he added to the story, I did not feel distracted nor did it take away from the original feel of the novel. I was pleasantly surprised to feel so at ease with the changing of the novel, I didn’t feel as good about what was added and deleted from the original LOTR movies, so it was a very odd feeling. I go into this movie, trying to have an open mind.
In the past, I have been called somewhat of a “book snob”. I am one that if I like a novel and I see the movie and it is completely different or they change a lot of things, then yes it will sour me to the movie. Guilty pleasure, but Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite authors and each time I see one of his books being turned into a movie, I just cringe. The Notebook I just don’t get it, I wanted to get up and walk out of that movie! I may be one of the only women in the world who feels this way. This was Sparks’ first novel and one of my favorites from his collection and for me, the emotions and essence of the novel got lost on screen and the only good thing I said about the movie, “at least with the ending of this movie, they can’t mess with the sequel The Wedding.” I am a person who thinks, if it works the first time, why do you need to change anything?
I understand, being both of a writer and a movie minded person, that there are things that are done with words that simply cannot be transferred to screen. There is no way there can be an exact representation of book to screen, but for me, it is about the essence of it. As long as they aren’t using a name, just to draw in an audience, then I will at least try to tolerate the changes. I have tried to adopt the movies and books stand alone mentality. You should not need one to understand or enjoy the other, rather they should be a compliment to each other. (I guess like any good relationship right?) I should be able to read a book one day and then the next walk into a theater see the movie and be able to say on their own merits, why I liked or didn’t like each.
Maybe it is just me and I think too much about all this and after being called a “book snob”, I have always kind of wanted to change that. I am a fan of both books and movies, yet I think regardless of which form it is in first, one should not change everything about the other, and if they do, simply change the title. Subtle changes, like names of cities and characters, that are unnecessary, drive me bananas! Why do that?! Why?! Side rant for a moment, but as I prepare to go see The Hobbit this weekend, I try to keep my mind open and wait with anticipation for what I will see.
Want to weigh in on the debate? Leave a comment below, what do you think about books and movies, should they continue to make movies from beloved novels? You have heard my opinion about things, now let me hear yours and be sure to stop back in, read the movie review for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and tell me what you think!