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The Mutilation of a Book: from Page to Screen

In: Novels

Submitted By BooksxRoses
Words 1483
Pages 6
Lost in Translation
Historian, Robert Shickel, says; "A great novel is concerned primarily with the interior lives of its characters as they respond to the inconvenient narratives that fate imposes on them.
Movie adaptations of these monumental fictions often fail because they become mere exercises in interior decoration". Highly acclaimed dystopian novels are constantly being adapted into movies. Fans of these novels are excited that they will finally get to see their favorite dystopian worlds brought to life, but then they are disappointed when the films do not adhere to the books.
It is understandable when the film varies slightly from the original novel, because directors are not expected to fit a three hundred to five hundred page story into a two hour film. However, when a book is converted into a movie, the filmmakers neglect to include essential parts of the novel in the film. Elements such as character development, narration, and point of view are lost in translation. The underlying themes in dystopian novels are lost when adapted to the big screen, because filmmakers are more concerned with the entertainment value, such as the romance and action, more than the message and actual story the novel originally presents.
A major problem that filmmakers face when adapting a novel is the limit that the camera has to present literary points of view. The point of view— or narration— in the novel can offer insight into a characters mind as well as a characters thoughts and actions that a movie can not. “
This [voice-over narration] is not a natural cinematic quality, and it is rarely completely successful in duplicating or even suggesting novelistic viewpoints. In film we usually simply see the story unfold. Thus the dramatic point of view is the only novelistic viewpoint that can be directly translated to cinema” (Boggs 680)....

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