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Books vs. Movies: Comparison of Features

We all have a friend who yells during a movie that this moment was shown differently in the book. At the same time, another friend says that he or she is bored with reading and would rather wait for the movie adaptation. Both of these friends can be right, since much of a book or film’s success depends on the talent of its writer, screenwriter, director, and actors. Hence, comparing books and movies is a challenging task as both have their advantages.

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The main thing in common between books and films is that they convey a story and evoke emotion. A plot can be fiction, fantasy, or a real story from someone’s life. However, it is extremely rare that a story is completely truthful. This statement does not mean that all authors and screenwriters lie, but embellishment or exaggeration is an integral part of books and films. The author can slightly change the sequence of events or the order of words in the phrase, add or omit minor details to make the story more engaging. The director casts an actor with a different color of eyes or hair than a real character or uses a more picturesque setting for the stage. These features are intended to bring readers or viewers more pleasure and evoke stronger emotions, and they are common to movies and books.

At the same time, a book differs from a movie because it can have more details and focus on the characters’ feelings. Quite often, fans of famous books, such as Harry Potter, are outraged that the movie does not show this or that episode, which distorts the character’s personality. Such flaws arise because all the book details cannot be placed in the standard or the appropriate time for a movie. In addition, actors may not accurately convey the characters’ feelings with their acting, while the words in a book precisely describe them. For this reason, the advantage of books is that they can reveal details of the story and feelings of its characters, which bring stronger emotions in readers.

However, the advantage of movies is that a director can use impressive graphics that are difficult for a person to imagine, and musical accompaniment to emphasize the atmosphere of the moment. For example, a person who reads about aliens, magic, or outer space cannot clearly visualize some images, since he or she has no real experience with such objects, but computer graphics can create anything. Music also enhances the mood of the moment; for example, a dramatic song sounds during battles or the scene of a character’s death, and harsh sounds are usually a part of horror films. Thus, a viewer can feel the mood of the moment and enjoy the visuals while relaxing in a movie theater.

Therefore, books and movies have a common purpose in conveying a story to readers or viewers. Their similar feature is that they often embellish reality more or less to offer readers or viewers the best version of a story. However, the main advantage of books is their detail and description of the characters’ feelings, while films allow people to perceive their plot visually and audibly but not only through the prism of their experience. Consequently, books and movies are different in the way of delivering ideas, and the choice of people depends on their preferences.

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