The perks of being a movie watcher


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“You read the book, right?” are words spoken expectantly between teenagers leaving theaters everywhere. If the answer is yes, then congratulations, you’ve saved yourself. If the answer is no, you’re in for the next most judgemental five minutes of your life.

Why are people, teenagers in particular, so adamant about the books being read prior to seeing movies? The answer requires a little math:

Ability to read + Ability to comprehend reading material + Adequate book = Intelligence

Who doesn’t want to feel smart, right? Unfortunately for those people, the truth of the matter is that, between two people seeing a movie, the one who has read the book does not have automatically superior judgement.

A movie is a piece of art. A book is also a piece of art. While they are similar in that respect, the things that make movies to work are completely different from the things that make books work. Authors weave together words, directors weave together cinematography, scripts, costumes and actors.

Sometimes, a scene in a book may not be able to carry over to a movie adaptation. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but, usually, moviemakers don’t leave out vital scenes, so whats the problem? Fans who are attached to books often are unable to see that when the source material is changed, it isn’t due to some vendetta the crew of the film have against the book(s). It’s often due to time constraints, awkward phrasing, or not enough dialogue to sustain the scene.

The books are usually regarded as “better” than their movie counterparts, but each have their strong points. Some people have difficulty staying concentrated on books or have trouble reading in general, but movies provide them with a cohesive piece of cohesive media that they can follow. Movies can also create intricate scenes with more beauty than words can capture. Additionally, films can convey emotions of characters without outright saying “they felt sad,” by way of facial expressions and colors.

Since books tend to focus on internal conflicts and are not prone to have any “epic” sequences, movies are better for those who enjoy more fast-paced events and things such as battles. There’s also the simple fact that movies take less time to enjoy. Those on a tight schedule may not have time to read books. Movies are an excellent way to relax in a 1-3 hour period.

Nothing is perfect, and everything has its flaws. It’s time to start accepting that the ratio of movie flaws to book flaws is closer to 1:1 than 1000:1.