From our mouths, to writing and finally to film, the way we tell stories has evolved over time and I must say thank God for its advancements. Reading a book can be nice but thanks to movies all the work of deciphering the message of the story is done through the director of the motion picture. He is responsible for researching the story to find the intent of the writers and will often consult with the writer to bring you the true meaning of the story. The director brings the story to life on screen with words, images, and sounds, leaving little to wonder, taking out the questions of what the story is about and leaving us with little or no debate. Examples of this can be seen in the Hollywood productions of the movies “Holes” and “The Great Gatsby”.
The movie Holes (2003) was directed by Andrew Davis who used the writer of Holes, Louis Sacher as a consultant on the set during production (Movie Hole Interview October 6, 2003). The movie follows the life of a boy, Stanley, who due to a family curse, ends up in a juvenile detention center out in the middle of nowhere after being falsely accused of stealing shoes. A witch has placed a curse on Stanley’s family causing this turn of events; the curse can’t be removed until he completes certain tasks for his best friend. At the detention center he is brought together by fate with a boy named Zero who will become his best friend. Through trials and tribulations he and his friend are able to stay united, break the family curse, and get out of the juvenile detention center.
Holes was one of my favorite movies growing up, and I have also read the book, I believe the movie follows the storyline of the book down to its minutest details. The movie provided all of the key factors that the book Holes was trying to convey, and in comparing the two I was almost stunned at the realization that the two were one in the same. The movie gives the reader and viewer the same theme time and time again throughout the story; friends will get you through the day, and stick to your goals.
The Great Gatsby is another movie that I’m sure many people are familiar with and the story is one I myself have fallen in love with. Like holes I have also read the book that was based on the most recent Great Gatsby (2013) movie remake by director Baz Luhrmann. It is a marvelous movie that evokes a person’s passion, yet wills you to move on past lost love. In the movie we follow the narrator who takes us into the world of Gatsby, a Debonair Millionaire.
From watching the movie we may conclude that everything Gatsby does throughout the story is for a woman name Daisy, whom is in love with and desires. To impress her he throws luxurious parties and to be closer to her he buys a mansion across the bay from her. Unfortunately due to his misplaced love, a love that should have been for God, he moves to corruption and swindling to attain his love, alas the only love he receives is the one who loves all, Death.
Director, Baz Luhrmann tells the New York Times (May 9, 2013) “That he sticks close to the details of the story and lifts dialogue and description directly from the novels”. In doing so he is helping to provide us with a view of the story that the writer envisioned.
Yet personal interpretation can be a problem within itself when comparing a movie to a book. While there is normally one message you can take away from a movie, with a book readers are able to decipher messages differently possibly coming to a conclusion the author never intended in the first place. Take the book 50 shades of Grey, which is rumored to be a movie soon, while discussing it with several women I have gotten several different interpretations of its meaning. Many saw the book as a romance novel with a main character that falls deeply in love. While some saw the main character as a scary control freak who liked to beat up his women. As for myself, I took it as a trashy love story reminding us of things we all secretly wish for, like the change to be a millionaire and to have incredible sex.
So in conclusion, I can say with certainty that movies are the media in today’s society that can create a clear and concise message closely delivering what the writer had intended for its audience. While books can tell a story and allow the reader to use their imagination when determining the message of the writer we are often unsure about what message the writer was truly trying to convey when we finish the book. Movies provide us with words, sights and sounds that give us a clearer picture as to what the writer is trying to tell us. When we finish watching a movie we are left with little room for interpretation or argument and when we leave the theater we are satisfied that we have a good understanding of the writers true message was.