I was home today with a sick Harry. We took the opportunity to watch the 5th and 6th Harry Potter movies.
It’s always interesting to compare movies to the books on which they are based. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and sometimes it does.
My gut level thought on this question is that movies that accept that they are a different medium than the book are the ones that succeed in adaptation. The Potter books are a great example of this because of the way they use the camera to move beyond what the character sees in a point of view to give the viewer more information.
A great example of this is the relationship between Harry and Ginny. As much as the couples seemed to fall into somewhat predictable configurations, with Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione set up for some convenient double dates, the Harry/Ginny relationship seemed forced in the books. In a way, its because of the point of view of the narrative. By limiting the POV to that of a teenage boy, a notoriously clueless population, you lose out on the “what every one else sees” factor.
You lose the stolen looks in the background, the side conversations, and the general flirtations that some writing a teenage boy would not necessarily see even though the rest of the world does. It’s actually very honest writing.
But the camera sees backgrounds, and that opens up a whole world of ways to clue the view into the building romantic tension between the characters.
I’ve had my own dealings with point of view. I was quite a ways into the story I’ve been working on when I realize that I could not get to the ending I wanted with only one point of view. The nature of the story called for a second POV to offset one character’s perception of the story.
There are probably whole textbooks on how a writer can properly handle POV in writing. I think I’ve even written on the topic. Still, that’s the thought that’s been bouncing around in my head, and now it’s out and I’m ready to call it a night.
Good night folks.