Many filmmakers make movies based on books. some people prefer to read the book before they watch the movie, while other people prefer to watch the movie before they read the book. which one do you prefer?
Since the invention of movies about one century ago, general publics have shown extraordinary passion and enthusiasm on this way of entertainment. It is very common to find a cinema crowded with audiences coming to watch the newly launched movie starring their idols or telling a story written by a famous author. In my mind, if possible, it is more meaningful for people to read the book on which the movie is produced before going to the theater.
Admittedly, without reading the book in advance, audiences still can fully enjoy the movies. For modern citizens, time is a commonly mentioned excuse: they are too busy to spare enough time to read. As study and work has occupied most of their time, they feel even not enough time to have a rest. Also, thanks to the improvement of movie making techniques and directors’ skills, audiences usually regard watching movies as a better way to enjoy a story. For example, the movie of The Great Gatsby lasts about two hours, starring Leonardo and boasting fantastic party scenes. But, it costs people months to finish reading the book.
However, for great works of famous authors, it is definitely worthy for people to read books before watching movies. To begin with, the reading of the original story enables us to have better understanding of the movie and to assess the movie more objectively. By reading books beforehand, audiences have more information on backgrounds of events and personalities of characters. This allows people to judge whether the director and actors are successful in telling the story. Even, some authors’works are by nature very challenging for directors to film. With huge efforts, the movie is still obscure and abstruse. Without reading the book, it is unfair for audiences disappointed by the movie to criticize the author. Take Here the Wind Sing written by Haruki Murakami as an example. If audiences haven’t read the book before, they can hardly understand those behaviors of Japanese young adults and be bored by insipid trivial matters in the movie.
Secondly, the reading of the book in advance allows audiences to be more critical while watching the movie. It is unavoidable that people may have divergent interpretation of the book. Bearing in mind the story, we are able to examine whether the movie will strike a chord in our heart or enlighten us with different revelation. Especially for die-hard fans, to watch a movie based on a book of their beloved author is just like to have a discussion with the director and actors on the contents or even details. Take the movie Into the White Night based on the book of Higashino Keigo as an example. The author is very successful in depicting criminals’ mental activities and creating conflicts, while the movie emphasizes much on cruel criminal activities to catch eyeballs. Only by reading the original story can we understand why protagonists were gradually set into a series of crimes.
To sum up, although watching movies without reading original books saves people much time, it is actually much more enjoyable to read in advance.