Friend-“Hey did you hear?They’re turning (blank) into a movie!”
Me-“Oh yeah I’ve never heard good things about that. Maybe I’ll go see it.”
Friend-“Hold on, you haven’t read the book yet?”
Me-“No I haven’t.”
Friend-“Then you can’t see the movie until you read the book.”
Me-“What are you talking about? This is America and I’m over 18, I can see any movie I want.”
Me-“Alright man I’ll see you in class.”
Okay maybe I’m exaggerating the dialogue but lets be honest, we’ve all had this conversation one way or another. Some people value the order in which you receive story, most of the time this means you have to read the book before you see the movie that the book becomes.Personally I feel that reading a story and seeing a story are to very different experiences and just because you see the movie before reading the book doesn’t make it any less of an experience. So why then do some people demand (not recommend but demand) that I receive narrative in ‘proper’ order?
I’ve been on both sides of this conversation but most of the time I find myself seeing movies without initially reading the book and I am judged harshly by friends, not ‘friendship over!’ harsh but you get the idea. Most of the time I find that reading the book before the movie gives me preconceived expectations for the movie that greatly effect the way I watch the film. I find myself constantly asking myself if the directors and writers of these films ‘ruined the story’ just because it didn’t match my single interpretation of how to tell the story.I think going into a movie like this, takes something away from the experience of watching the movie. As a director I know how hard it is to put a film together, it a collaberative effort takes hundreds of people to pull off, and its even harder when your turning a book into a movie because its so easy to accidentally get it wrong.
All I ask is that you as both a reader and a viewer not dictate the order of experiencing a story so harshly. Go into movies with an open mind and be open too different interpretations of the stories you hold in such high esteem. Maybe you’ll find that the movie might even be better than the book.