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The Optimist Vs. The Pessimist: Bookworm Thoughts On Book To Movie Adaptation

Bookworms tend to have a love-hate relationship with movie adaptations of their favorite novels. While the majority agrees to cheerfully grant a film the benefit of the doubt, other bookworms usually hold a reluctant demeanor.

Some may worry about whether the cast will be forever engraved in their minds as the main characters whenever they go back to read the book after watching the movie. For instance, every time I re-read Harry Potter, I cannot see any other face for Severus Snape other than Alan Rickman’s.

Here are the thoughts of an optimistic bookworm versus a pessimistic one when it comes to five different aspects of the adaptation.

1. It Begins: The Official Announcement For the Adaptation

The Optimist: About time. I’ve been waiting for a director to find this book for ages, and now they finally are going to adapt it! I can visualize the plot perfectly as a movie– hey, look! This director has made rather entertaining films in the past. Ah, I’m so excited to see who they cast as the main characters. 

The Pessimist: No. No, no, no. NO. This book shouldn’t be adapted into a friggin’ movie! There is way too much relevant information between the lines. It’s like The Great Gatsby all over again. People, the spirit of the novel is in the actual writing, not in the sparkly effects and Leo DiCaprio or Robert Redford. The director will have to either cut out a lot of stuff, or add a sappy love triangle to interest the masses. HOLLYWOOD, WHY DOST THOU MOCK ME? 

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Source: Giphy

2. Casting Choices: For Better or For Worse

The Optimist: This actor/actress has always been rather promising. Sure, they do not have the same physical description as the character in the novel, but it’s okay. In the end, it is better to have good actors instead of bland blobs that happen to look exactly like the character they’re portraying. It’s all about staying true to the character’s personality than their looks. 

The Pessimist: Huh. Minor characters don’t seem too bad. I haven’t seen this actor/actress in anything too remarkable. Okay, there is no reason to panic just yet. This could be their chance to prove themselves, right? Right? But…even in their previous roles, they were not memorable. Isn’t one supposed to make the most out of any given role–WAIT A SECOND. They cast THAT actor/actress as [insert name of beloved literary character]? They have as much personality as a tree branch! Heck, I could put a wig on a tree branch and make a better job at being that character than this guy/gal could. [Incoherent growl of frustration]

Source: Giphy

Source: Giphy

3. The Main Boss: The Director

The Optimist: Oh, man, some of my favorite movies were directed by [insert director’s name]. Their style is just right up this novel’s alley, come to think about it. I’m curious as to what they will present onto the big screen. So far, the team involved in this adaptation is easing most of my concerns. Good times.

The Pessimist: This director for this specific adaptation is like calling in Michael Bay for a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights; it makes zero sense. No, the director himself/herself is not bad, but it seems like they might use their “creative license” a wee bit too much. All it takes to build or crash a movie– let alone an adaptation– is a lack of direction. Yup, I need an airbag. 

Source: Giphy

Source: Giphy

4. Internal Debates: How Much Will Be Cut Out?

The Optimist: Based on the director and their respect for the novel, the truly important bits won’t be taken for granted. They’ll probably cut through the fluff, like food descriptions or unnecessary dialogue, and focus on strengthening the actual plot. I approve.

The Pessimist: Dang it all, the fluff is the best part. The fluff is what helps build the character development. How is the audience supposed to connect with a character if the traits that rounded them off in the book disappear in the movie? Or even worse, what if they try to shove in too much exposition to catch up those who haven’t read the original story? This happens in all kinds of adaptations. Like that time Michael Bay wanted to turn the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into aliens. Unrelated. I CANNOT WIN.

Source: Giphy

Source: Giphy

5. The Moment Before: The Official Trailer

The Optimist: This is it! This is the best trailer I could’ve hoped for. It has the same mood and the same feel the book did, and the cast seems to work. It all went smoothly. Heck, I’m actually looking forward to seeing this adaptation. I don’t know why I worried in the first place.

The Pessimist: This is it. This is everything I expected out of this bloody cast. The setting looks great. But what matters here are the characters, and they look as though they are in severe pain 99% of the time. GRAH. I cannot believe they turned yet another amazing story into a cheesy flick with Hollywood shenanigans spilled ALL OVER IT. Whatever. I’ll still see it. I will give this adaptation the benefit of the doubt…the doubt being that THIS MOVIE WILL HURT MY SOUL.

Source: Giphy

Source: Giphy

Which do you identify with the most? The ever-so hopeful optimist, or the irritated pessimist? Comment below!

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Featured image via Pixabay