I don’t read.
There’s like an entire blog post about it that I made like 10 months ago or something. It’s about how I don’t read, but I am a writer and because of this, I don’t believe that you have to be a “reader” to write.
But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Today, we’re going to talk about what I actually DID read. What I read was “THE MAZE RUNNER!!!” … soon to be major motion picture as I’m sure you well know. I read this book in a little less than two weeks (honestly, there were moments when I couldn’t put it down) and I currently have mixed feelings about the story overall.
HOWEVER, I PICKED the Maze Runner up because the movie / film looked enormously compelling.
I means seriously… have you seen these commercials?
I don’t know about everyone else… but (Dylan O’brien) Thomas running through those closing slabs of man squishing! I GET CHILLS UP IN MY ARMPITS! AND I have definitely gone “full” nut job and cheered once or twice when it’s happened… because… well, I get excited about things like this.
But the thing that is really takin’ the cheese off my pizza slice is this –
EVERY SINGLE COMMERCIAL, clip, piece, snippet, or section that I’ve seen posted online has a large myriad of people (all of whom have apparently never seen a movie before after they read that book) says something to the effect of “nice… BUT THAT’S NOT HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE BOOK!!!”
Is everyone inhaling copious amounts of glue sticks? At WHAT POINT in the history of Hollyweird has there EVER been a movie (minus a FEW examples) in which the movie was 100% like the book?
I literally just watched the doors closing, Thomas nearly becoming Griever jelly scene and without FAIL there was some person “poo pooing” because in the “book” Thomas was “alone” when he went into the maze and not surrounded by a bunch of other boys…
*head meets desk* … Apparently this same person didn’t watch any of the other commercials or anything because I can tell you as someone who’s just read the book (like five and a half minutes ago) that there are a whole LOT of changes made to this film that were not in the book. LIKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKE Gally’s hair was black, not blonde. Thomas was “sixteen” and no offense to Dylan (who’s VERY handsome), but he ain’t no sixteen. Or, how about the fact that MOST of the dialogue is different from the book.
One of the more hilarious comments that I see / (hear as a writer myself) is when someone says, “Well, that’s NOT how I pictured so and so” … or “I imagined him with RED hair” or “taller” or… the list goes on… Guess what? It’s a book! YOU WILL project your OWN ideals/ thoughts/ images and fantasies on these fictional characters… WHY? Because they’re FICTIONAL! The only person who knows 100 percent for sure WHAT the characters in TMR looked/looks like is James Dashner (the writer)… and honestly, if he’s anything like me as a writer, the image might shift as his thoughts/ feelings about a character change. YOU can imagine a character to be “taller” “slimmer” “with darker hair” “have a perfect smile and a twitchy eyebrow that only lifts for YOUR heart to skip a beat” all that you want. It’s a book… they’re not real.
Let me explain you a thing… Having some MINOR knowledge of film, how it works, and how it operates.
MOVIES ARE NOT CARBON COPIES OF THEIR BOOKS! They are “based” on someone else’s idea.
I have laid this idea out repeatedly and SINCE “TLOTR”… books (btw) that I did not and have NEVER read. I will never forget the LITERAL outrage… the wailing and gnashing of teeth… the flesh eating bacterial disappointment that swept over my friends after they “saw” the films (and this is still going on with the Hobbit films) that “things were not like they were in the book”… I remember clearly my ex-boyfriend LAUGHING MANIACALLY “HA! Like STRIDER would just have FOUR SWORDS… THAT LITERALLY MAKES NO SENSE!” … FIRSTLY… apparently (again, never read the books) the hobbits getting their swords in Fellowship was quite the story arc, so a 3 hour plus movie PROBABLY didn’t need that extra storyline… secondly, I never questioned it having never read the books… and lastly, as someone who DIDN’T read the books, it made PERFECT sense to me… it’s easy, Aragorn believed that he would bump into the hobbits, hence he had weapons for them. Why is that a hard leap? But no… it’s “NOT LIKE THE BOOK”
Well, sorry to burst your proverbial BOOBLE, but that’s not really your concern. You either liked it as a film, or you didn’t. That’s about all we’re really talking about here.
So, a few things…
A FILM is quite a bit different from a “book” … this is pretty evident from the get go, but we’re just putting it out there. And SOME books don’t “need” a whole lot of “changing” etc because honestly, a lot of what is written in those types of books translate well to the screen. (I’ve heard that the Harry Potter books are a good translation from book to screen for instance). Some changes were made, but I’m getting to that.
The NEXT thing is about something called “Watchability” … very often, the way that books are written would honestly make them VERY difficult to translate directly to screen. They’re detailed accounts of things that are fictional and are often wordy, verbose, and sometimes even dull. PLUS, they have to fit the whole darn story into (what is usually) a little less than 2 hours. (I understand many movies exceed this). Basically, a bunch of people sit down and review the story / script and decide what is necessary, what is not, and how entertaining/ exciting certain parts of the book will be.
At this point they also might make “changes”… let’s be honest. Some of the stuff that’s in SOME of these novels is honestly? Just not that great/ believable etc… We’re talking about The Maze Runner so I’ll use this as an example here. No offense to Mr. Dashner, but some of the dialogue in this book was just downright AWFUL… And I’m not just talking about the “fake” cussing (which seems to be a pretty big criticism from a lot of sides). I’m talking about the character interactions with one another/ their thoughts feelings on paper and how that all worked out. There were times when (for me) it was just utterly cringeworthy. BUT… he had a good enough of a thing going with the whole “why” and “how” that you pressed through that non-sense… (The nonsense where a 16/17 year old Asian boy says things like, “Quit your belly aching… >_>) and you wanted to read the book because you were so curious as to everything.
When I was watching my favorite clip (the moment that Thomas goes through those quickly closing doors), someone below had commented that it wasn’t how it was in the book…
This is where the writers of the screenplay had to sit around a table and say…hmm… what is more believable? That a newer young man in this group of 60 or so boys would be standing ALONE watching/waiting for his leader? Or that OTHER boys would be there? In my opinion, this is a no brainer. OF COURSE everyone would be surrounding the area because this is a REALLY BIG DEAL in the Glade. It also adds to the sequence if Thomas starts running with a HOARD of people frightened for him not just one.
Case and point? Seriously? Go to a movie and understand that if it’s “based off” a book, it’s probably NOT going to be like the book 100%. In fact, it will probably only have the story line and certain sequences that were also in the book. Other than that, they WILL probably change everything.
Unless you’re the writer and you don’t want it that way…Get over it.