The Written X The Visuals

“Reading a novel, getting the characters into your head in a way that their visual appearance of your creation appeals so much to you, then finally watching the movie version of the book wherein you expect to see the characters of your fabrication but instead get failed to be allured by the cast members as they hardly cater to your taste of your imagination” : ever experienced this feeling?

Indubitably, it is a feeling of intense disappointment but in my case (as in many others’ cases), I use it as a shield to protect me from the ineluctable wrath of the hangover injected by the book. I honestly have no idea how that works.

There might be a few exceptions to this. For instance, the characters I imagined while reading the Harry Potter series turned out to have a striking resemblance to those cast in the movies. I was delirious with happiness and an inexpressible satisfaction on seeing the Sirius Black of my imagination in the movie (Gary Oldman).

For me and a bunch of congenial souls that I know, it remains our bailiwick to watch the film after reading the book and is not so thrilling, doing it the reverse way.

One of the reasons that can be attributed to this might be that we expect too much of the cast (who play the roles of the characters) and envisage them to be doppelgangers of the heroes and heroines of our dreams. Or it can be because they are forced to cut down the one-thousand-paged novel into a two-hour film and it might appear to be a mare’s nest.

I have performed an experiment on myself and analysed it:

(a) I read the novel and I acknowledged the fact that we are open to a wide variety of ways in which we can develop, form and change even the minutest details attributed to the characters.

(b) I watched the movie first and later when I read the book, I was inadvertently forced to imagine the very same actors who were cast in those roles, every time I tried to deviate from them.

Nevertheless I watch the films of whichever novel I read until the blank screen after the displaying of the credits appears. I try my best not to decry the efforts of the innumerable people behind the films. After all, who knows, if I had watched the film before reading the book (although that would be in contradiction to my interests), I may as well have enjoyed the film!

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