Indeed, it is a difficult task to present a movie in just a few hours based on a novel that originally took months, if not years, to write. However, people like to compare the novel with a film that tells the same story, and many people are inclined to agree with the opinion that films could hardly defeat the novels in telling the same story. Presumably, this is mainly because the novel is the one that first introduces the plot to the audience. Therefore, whatever the author puts in the tale dominates the thoughts of the readers and becomes the sole “correct” way of telling a certain story.
While reading a novel, we get the liberty to imagine and interpret the given scene through our own imagination. Reading books gives us the ability to get into a character’s head. We get to know exactly what the characters are going through, their intentions, motivations, and how they perceive the world around them. The extent to which movies can manage this is limited. This is because they are highly dependent on the actors’ reactions and expressions, which aren’t as effective as having their thoughts being read out to us.
However, some things in novels are ambiguous. For instance, the author won’t give every single detail about the character’s look which makes it hard to envision. Whereas, movies based on novels are more convenient as one isn’t required to use his/her brain. We just need to see. To put it simply, movies adapted from books make it easier for us to just lean back and enjoy the show.
Pride and Prejudice, written by the world-class author, Jane Austen, whose multiple adaptations have been made. A Bollywood-style adaptation, “Bride and Prejudice”, was also inspired by this novel.
Novels keep the audience completely invested as one needs to understand every single thing written on the paper to imagine. Movies keep you engaged for the time being you are watching it. But once it’s done, you’ll move on to watching another movie or show but when it comes to novels, it’s not that easy to move on as you have invested your days reading, crying, going through, and living every single word, every single emotion. So when it ends, it feels as if there’s nothing else left and you are suddenly thrust back into reality. I know. I’ve been there too. But then you see another amazing book peering at you and there’s an epiphany that there’s so much else left to read in this big wide world.
Ultimately, a movie is only a matter of 2-3 hours whereas a book is an experience! Novels have such detailing that it grips you until the end; and the euphoric feeling one gets as he/she holds a book in his/her hands, slowly going through the pages and devouring each and every paragraph, line, and word to the fullest. This is a feeling that you can never get while watching a film adaptation.
Meanwhile, movie adaptations involve visual depiction and it has been proven that visuals stick for a longer period than mere words.
The difference between films based on novels and novels is that it gives the audiences and readers different experiences. The sound in the film could greatly enhance the audiences’ understanding but gives away a lot of thrills as in novels the audience didn’t see it coming.
You never watch a film and think that it should be turned into a book; most good films are based on books anyway, such as Sense and Sensibility (based on Jane Austen’s novel), Little Women (based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee’s novel), The Godfather (Mario Puzo’s novel) and many more.
The biggest challenge with reading novels is that people have to be determined and focused in order to complete a whole book. Everyone has, at some point in their life tried to read a book and some have even given up after battling reading through the first page. On the other hand, watching movies is easy and can save a lot of time. Usually, a movie takes about two to three hours while reading a book could take more than a week or even months for some readers.
However, when you reread a book, you take a different journey together with a probably even better imagination. It is like slowly savouring your favourite pastry or drinking the most matured wine sip by sip and getting warm from within. Romeo and Juliet are just like wine. It only gets better with time. It is such a legendary love story that you will find hundreds of its movie adaptations.
This adage by the great Stephen King sums it perfectly, “Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different.” Stephen King has written legendary novels most of which are turned into movies. In addition, the two mediums of storytelling indeed have different advantages and different qualifications for what makes them good. They are both great sources of entertainment, but they aren’t comparable.