I have a rule...if you don't want to be disappointed in an adaptation, see the film before you read the book. The problem with this rule is that your initial impressions and visualizations of characters and scenarios will be affected by the films visuals. I had this problem with the Harry Potter books. Harry's parents were not meant to be as old as they were portrayed in the film but that's the only way I can picture them! ARg!!! But at the same time the things I expect and dare hope to see on the screen are almost always not what I visualized if I'm lucky; or worse just flat out distorted to such an extent that it looks just...wrong.
This brings me to The Great Gatsby. I have not read the book and the only things I really know about it are from the bits John mentioned in the NF Book Club as well as the trailer. Which is to say, not much.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Are there books that have been adapted that you flat our refuse to see because you feel it can never live up to your expectations?
Will you see Gatsby?
I will never, ever see The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. I loved those books as a child, and I was really excited when I heard they were being made into a movie.
Then I learned that they had made the child protagonist into a teenager, given him a love interest, made him American instead of British, added a multitude of action sequences, added heavy Christian overtones to what is a decidedly dualistic, even pagan mythology within the book... in short, a beautiful children's story was thoroughly Hollywoodised and, from all reviews, thoroughly ruined :(
I've read Gatsby and wasn't really blown away by it. I might see the movie, but it won't bother me so much if it differs dramatically from the book. Baz Luhrmann has a very, uh, psychotropic style.
I liked reading the Great Gatsby a lot more than I thought I would, from the looks of the people involved and the release date I can see this just being Oscar bait.
I completely agree with you. If I love a book to death, I will refuse to see the film or even a series of episodes that portray said book, because I know for a fact that the images in my mind I based off of what I read will not be the same as what I end up seeing. It will never be truly justified, and I have high standards when it comes to these things. So most of the time I don't watch the movies. However if I hate the book, then yes I will watch the movie. This brings me to The Great Gatsby. I absolutely hated the book, so seeing the movie was no disappointment. I completely respect the writing, it's simply a disgusting plot. I can't stand half of the characters throughout the book. Especially Nick who simply stands by and watches all of this, and instead of taking the high road, he blends in and does nothing. Simply lets things happen.
Sorry this was a long rant lol
I don't mind watching the film adaptions for books. They often suck when compared to the book, but when taken for what they are, adaptations, I enjoy them. I find it fun to see how the directors and actors interpret and the visualize their reading experiances. The things I like about the adaptation stick but the things I don't like I do away with. Gatsby is a great example, after John going on about it so much and hearing it would be made a movie I figured I'd finally read it. As I'm reading it Leonardo Decaprio is slowly showing up when I picture Gatsby but The films Nick and Jordan are nothing like how I imagine them while reading the book.
A very great writer once told me that films and books should never be compared. That they are different medias entirely. That a film can only hold onto one tiny strand of the book, and cling to it for dear life unless it changes a lot and creates an entirely different story based on the ideas of the book (that writer was Kazuo Ishiguro).
I loved The Great Gatsby and will probably see the film. Neither will ruin the other as I am holding them both in very separate places in my heart, just as I do with the Harry Potter books and films.
It's kind of like trying to compare the 1960's Adam West Batman series with the modern day films... It simply cannot be done without serious internal bleeding.