This is a subject that I am usually very passionate about when talking with family and friends because due to the fact I am the only major reader amongst them, I am usually always the one arguing for the book while someone else is arguing for the movie.
I have pretty much always had a bit of an unwritten rule that I have to read the book before seeing the movie. If I happen to accidentally see a movie that was initially a book without knowing it, I then always have to go back and read the book to see how it compared.
Unfortunately, I think that movies very rarely do the book they are inspired by justice. There is just so much that can be described and built up in a book that I don't think can ever be duplicated on screen, especially those stories that have a huge amount of world building and character development in them, such as the Harry Potter series. These books had such a beautiful charm to them that somehow got lost in translation when the movies were made. Don't get me wrong, the movies were definitely great in their own right, but they weren't a patch on the books they came from.
Also, I think that as we are all individuals with very different imaginations, morals and interpretations of things, trying to create a movie that brings to life a book that duplicates the same images and feelings that someone has created in their head is an impossible task. I will get an image of a lead character in my head while I am reading a book and I'll imagine what they talk like and this helps me relate to the story and get immersed in the book itself. When this book is then created into a movie, no matter how awesome it might be, if the actor who was chosen to play a certain character doesn't represent in any way the one that I imagined in my head, the whole experience is ruined for me. Maybe this is just me, but it's something that has always bothered me.
A movie that makes me seriously cringe when I think about it in relation to the book it was inspired by is Clockwork Orange. The book was so dark and disturbing but when I eventually saw the movie I couldn't believe how theatrical it was and how ridiculous the whole story seemed to be portrayed.
But, on the other hand, I think The Hunger Games movies are great adaptations of the books and ones that I always recommend to others. Of course they were a little bit different in some plot areas, but overall they were pretty true to the mark. Also, I think The Book Thief was also done very well according to the original book.
I could seriously go on about this topic all day but will stop here. To see some other thoughts on this topic here is the original post where we are linking up our discussions.
I'd love to know what others prefer? The book or the movie?