I love to read, and I also love books and movies. The only problem is that the movie is usually no match for the book. This is why I tend to forgo the movie when I’ve read the book. I’ve made a few exceptions, however.
The Da Vinci Code
The most disappointing movie based on a book for me was The Da Vinci Code. The novel and movie by the same name were mysteries about a symbolist and cryptologist who investigate a murder in Paris’s Louvre Museum. In the process, they discover a battle concerning the possibility of Jesus having been married to Mary Magdalene.
I knew I shouldn’t have seen the movie! It was just so anticipated, and there was so much buzz around it. I gave in to that buzz. I was just too curious. I had to see what all the hoopla was about.
After all the “making of” specials and interviews, I was actually looking forward to it. Big mistake. I should have known. The visuals in the movie were just no match for those I had created in my mind. The characters were so tame, and the scenery so dull, I wanted to forget I had ever seen it.
The worst part is that I can’t make the magic come back anymore. The movie was not only horrible in its own right, but ruined the book! I can no longer think of the world full of rich characters and colors I had created in my mind without replacing them with the stupid movie elements. It’s quite infuriating.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
I didn’t think it would be possible, but the epic movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR) was amazing. It is the first in the LOTR trilogy depicting a Hobbit named Frodo who is tasked with taking an extraordinary journey in order to destroy an ancient ring. The ring’s destruction will spell the end of the reign of the Dark Lord Sauron.
There were just so many amazing visual effects and detail, the movie actually equalled my imagination in many cases. That almost never happens. Although, my own vision of the book was different, it was no better.
The Da Vici Code and LOTR comparison
So, how do the movies The Da Vici Code and LOTR compare? Well, The Da Vici Code contains elements of the world that are known. For example, the Louvre is a known location, and we can search it online or see it in person to see what it looks like. Those elements of the book did not require a whole lot of imagination, and so those elements were not entirely disappointing when translated to their movie versions.
LOTR, on the other hand, had very few elements that are known in the real world. So the trick with that movie was simply to present an imaginative world that was thoroughly impressive. There’s no way the movie could be a perfect vision of what is in the imaginations of people who read the book, but it could at least be as impressive as what was in their imaginations. That was what it was for me.
When looking at the details of the two movies, that is where LOTR truly shines and The Da Vinci Code bombs. The Da Vinci Code takes a very wide view of the main concepts of the book, with generalized, dark scenery, and run-of-the-mill characters. The characters just didn’t have the fully conceived personalities they had in the book. LOTR, on the other hand, gave viewers a rich imaginary world full of detail and fully developed characters. When you can see new details each time you watch the movie, you know it’s a winner.