|Lovely image in a slideshow movie.|
The Slideshow or Strict Rendering
This is the most boring of the approaches and only slightly less pointless than "all we used was the title." It can usually be traced to a basic fallacy: books = movies.
No, no, they don't.
It is not only utterly unfair to expect a movie to be a clone of a book, it is utterly unfair to judge a movie/television episode by the same criteria as a book as I discuss in my post "Getting Snarky About Television and Other Anti-Television Silliness".
In sum, watching a movie utilizes one's imagination differently than reading a book.
This reality creates problems for readers who think that the imaginative journey they took in the book--"I could imagine the characters and the world in my own way!"--ought to be echoed by the movie.
|A non-slideshow movie.|
Of course, it's great to watch a movie where the characters and the setting are what one imagined. It simply isn't the point. The imaginative leap evoked by movies is NOT about turning words-into-images. The imaginative leap evoked by movies is about sensory immersion, no immediate left-brained translation.
What a movie asks for in terms of imagination isn't better or worse than what books ask for. It is different. But it's a difference that matters because when a movie tries to be a book, it fails--it stops being a movie and becomes a slideshow.
Slideshow movies come about when adherence to plot cancels out the director's interpretation/worldview. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone is a slideshow movie. Chris Columbus is not one for grand interpretations, yet Harry Potter the First lacks even his frenetic viewpoint.
|Chamber of Secrets|
Columbus did much better with the second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. His imprint, especially in the chamber scenes, is more apparent. (In keeping with my yen for short, crisp stories, I quite enjoy both the second book and the second movie.)
|Pattinson before Twilight!|
To be more than a slideshow, a movie must have an authorial point of view and that authorial point must be the author of the medium (the director/producer/actors). Without a point of view . . . I might as well read the book. Such resignation might make "books only" folks happy; unfortunately, it would spell the death of an entire art-form.