Tag Archives: count of monte cristo

Books vs Movies: The Complementary Battle

Many avid book readers claim that novels are far better than the movies created in their wake. I’ll admit, they’re right. 99.999% of the time.

I’ve found very few movies that did the books justice, let alone were better. Particularly any of the classics. Pride and Prejudice, Ulysses, Jane Eyre. (no, the Twilight series is not considered a classic, nor will it ever)

Mainly because they can’t capture the inner minds of the epic characters we see in our heads as we read them on the page. Or is it perhaps our imaginations are far more brilliant than what’s depicted on screen? Or merely different, and then our expectations are let down.

One of the biggest examples of this is the Harry Potter series. There is so much detail of the witchcraft and wizardry world that the movies will never be able to capture, although they’ve done a fine job of attempting it, thanks to the advancements of computers and green screens. If the movies were able to depict every scene in the books, then each movie would be eight hours long. Particularly the last one; it would have been thirty hours. And who in their right minds would be able to sit in a chair and watch a movie that long?

Well, book lovers of course. And if they are going to sit in a chair that long, they’d rather be reading.

A few movies have come close to matching the same feelings I get from the book. Timeline by Michael Crichton. Here’s the odd thing: there were a few changes in the back-story of that film from the book of which I rather liked. It was a simpler explanation, more believable, and more poetic at the end. That, and I’m a sucker for Gerard Butler.

One movie changed it’s colors almost entirely from the book, and a classic one at that. If you’ve ever read The Count of Monte Cristo, you’ll know the movie is almost completely different. The prison break scene seems to be the only matching event. The ending is completely different. And the movie leaves out an entire set of characters that are so vibrant and alive in the book. I never would have known that had I not read the book. I’ll admit, I saw the movie first. But redeeming factor here, it compelled me to read the novel. Of which I liked much more than the movie.

Nevertheless, I will always watch the movies. I go into the theater (or plop onto my couch) knowing that the book will always have an advantage over the screen depiction.

What about you? Are there any movies that you liked as much as the novel? Or even better? I’m curious to see if there are any out there.