Any fan of a book or series that was adapted to film knows that the story will undoubtedly undergo some changes as it’s translated to a new medium. That said, these changes aren’t necessarily a bad thing, as they’re made to better cater to a film audience, but they do leave out details of the story or alter how it’s presented because of time restrictions.
While the essence and theme of the story usually remain intact in the film, the movie doesn’t have the room or ability to naturally incorporate all the small details, internal thoughts, and extra characters. The film version must focus only on the most essential details of the story, for the sake of time and money, and this can sometimes leave fans wanting more from the story, which the books can then offer.
That said, any true story lover knows that it’s usually better to read the story in its original form before seeing the movie because, most of the time, the film adaptation will be the story through the perception of the screenwriters. If viewers watch the film, already having read the book, they can reflect on their own views of the story and either appreciate or critique elements that the film got wrong or represented in a way that hurt the story’s theme.
Because movies have been based on written stories essentially since they started and will likely continue to be based on them, fans that are familiar with both the written and visual forms will always get the most from the world of the tale. Several movies based on books have already been released this year, like Deep Water, Redeeming Love, Death on the Nile, and more. Nonetheless, there are several movies yet to come out in the remainder of 2022 that would benefit viewers to read the books before watching. There are a number of reasons that these stories offer more when fans experience both versions, from having a better understanding of the story’s meaning, to being more familiar with the characters.
The film with a release date that is most quickly approaching is The Stars at Noon. This film is set in the 80s in Nicaragua. It follows an English businessman and an American journalist that begin a romantic relationship, only to get pulled into a sequence of dangerous events and interactions that lead to them having to find a way to escape the country. It has a fantastic cast, including Margaret Qualley, Danny Ramirez, Robert Pattinson and more. While the structure of this story will certainly make for an excellent movie with all of its romance and action, the movie likely won’t have time to focus much on the intimate evolution of the relationship. For audiences to have a better understanding of these characters and why they experience what they do, it would be helpful to read the book before seeing this film. It is set to release in theaters sometime in May 2022, though a specific day has not yet been mentioned.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a story that examines the position of women in society in several different lights. It’s about a woman living in the Marshes of the South that ends up being a suspect in the murder case of a man that she was once involved with. It explores how people that don’t conform to the standards of society are often ostracized or picked on for their differences. While the movie is expected to be an enthralling watch, reading the book beforehand will likely give viewers a better idea of how this situation affects the character psychologically by offering a more direct look into her mind. It will be released in theaters on July 15th.
Starring Dakota Johnson, this period piece focuses on the life of a young woman who is trying to be her own person in an otherwise snobby and drab environment, when a man from her past reappears and forces her to choose between revisiting a part of her younger self to possibly find happiness, or stick to the path she’s on, alone. A feminist tale ahead of its time, the making of this story into a film is appropriate for a modern audience. That said, it would benefit viewers to read the book before seeing the movie to truly understand the impact of her decisions in her time period. This movie will be released on Netflix on July 15th.
Another appropriately timed empowerment piece for the female audience, this story explores the ambitions of a woman in a decade where women being ambitious was not encouraged. It all begins when a widowed cleaning lady spots a Dior dress and makes up her mind that she must have one. While the movie should be easily able to capture the events of her journey to her goal, it may not have the time or means to capture all of her mentality around this plan. Reading the book will give audience members a better sense of what drives her through each step of the process. It comes out in theaters on July 15th, as well.
Another film with a fantastic cast, this historical tale, set during WWII, follows a Jewish girl that is being hidden by a family in Nazi-occupied France. The boy of the family was a kid that she once bullied in school, but he comes to be her saving grace, teaching the audience a lesson in kindness and humbleness. Because it follows some historical events and because much of the story is centered around her interactions with the boy and his family, it would certainly help viewers to read the book first. Reading the story beforehand will better display the sequence of events and the complications with hiding that they all experience in some way. It will be released in theaters on October 14th.
Featuring another star-studded cast, the makers of this film have yet to decide on an exact day in 2022 that this movie will be released. It follows the story of a seemingly well-off woman who experienced a traumatic event earlier in her life that resurfaces and forces her to confront her problems. Being another film that’s centered around a character, it would help viewers to better understand the emotions and thought process of the character to read the book, especially since this story examines trauma which can highly affect a person’s emotional and psychological development. It may even help readers to address some of their own past traumas to understand how this character approaches it.
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