Changing from page to screen

Adaptations of popular books don’t always make popular movies

Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of the infamous book by F. Scott Fitzgerald disappointed literary fans and viewers with a lack of overall theme.

Associated Press

Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of the infamous book by F. Scott Fitzgerald disappointed literary fans and viewers with a lack of overall theme.

Brianna Reynolds, Opinions Editor

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Most readers and movie-watchers feel film interpretations of books are not at all what they are cracked up to be.

Three recent movie releases claim to be based on highly influential and well-known books The Great Gatsby, The Book Thief, and Catching Fire, but their film counterparts may not always live up to the high expectations that the books set.

The Book Thief was released Nov. 8 in selected theaters. Like many other film interpretations of books, several parts of the plot were not shown in the film. Although this at first seemed detrimental to the story, the director, Brian Percival, cleverly portrayed the heart breaking tale of children’s thirst for life in the midst of violence and death in World War II Germany. The main themes of hope and humanity were conveyed with a powerful subtlety that mirrored the books perfectly.

Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, has been also created into film and released Nov.18. While the first film in the series grossed to over $155 million, many fans of the books complained that the most important plot points, emotional scenes, and quirky details were left out. This second movie gave artistic directors and producers a second chance to redeem the apparent faultiness of the first movie.

“A considerable upgrade over the first “Hunger Games” movie, “Catching Fire” comes across more like a remake than a sequel” reports the Huffington Post.

It was apparent to most fans and movie critics alike that the first movie of the trilogy was slacking in terms of full accuracy.

But luckily, “Catching Fire” brings new hope for those who are enthralled in the book series and who hope to see it succeed.

Earlier this year, on May 10, Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of The Great Gatsby was released and was flooded with negative reviews in relation to its accuracy of the themes and characters in the book.

Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in April 1925, the novel goes into great depth in the many layers that make up human beings.

The novel also accentuates the narrator’s, Nick Carraway, habit of excessively over-analyzing those around him until they are nothing but a pool of flaws and faults as well as the nature of the mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby.

Most juniors at AVHS will be reading The Great Gatsby and will explore the complexity of the novel.

The one dimensional nature of the film interpretation fell off par and appeared to only highlight the notoriously lavish and illegal activities in the parties in the 1920’s, especially in private homes and speakeasies.

Turning a cherished book into a movie can result in mixed reviews: the movie can capture the hearts of the watchers, as “The Book Thief” and “Catching Fire” did, or it can be a colossal disappointment, like “The Hunger Games” and “The Great Gatsby.”

Either way, students and adults alike their favorite book captured on film.

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