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‘The Blind Side’: Book Vs Movie

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Literature, a timeless piece of writing bonded together by unspoken words. Animated movies, a reel rolling a flipbook of pictures telling a story. Literature in its purest form is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader. Words slowly bind themselves into sentences that create stories, speaking in a universal and infinite language. Literature is the immortality of speech. What is the difference between the two, they both tell a story, do they not? Which ‘story’ is the better one? Which story is the ‘better’ story? These are frequently asked questions, what is the answer?

Usually, individuals have a very different sense of taste, we perceive things differently. There is no definite answer. Some may prefer spice over sweet, meanwhile others may prefer sweet over spice. In ‘The Blind Side’, an intricate novel written by Michael Lewis, a story of a boy with a troubled past and the rise of his character are shown, a boy who goes from having nothing to having it all. ‘The Blind Side’ has also been adapted into a film, using the inspiring story to motivate others and shed light upon issues that are not usually seen. Both the novel and the cinematography are equally as pleasing, based off of the true story of Michael Oher, and both have become world renowned. The movie version of ‘The Blind Side’ is seen to be more emotionally touching and more understandable rather than the original novel itself. This statement can be proven true looking at the evidence between plot changes, detailing and point of view.

To begin with the reasoning that the cinematography version is more emotionally touching and easily understood is through the difference in detailing. Looking further into detailing, it is seen that the book is sectioned into two parts, one focusing on Michael Oher as a student and a football player, and the other on the history of American football in general. This discovery can be seen as a plus and a minus. The details in the novel are more in depth and explain various other links throughout the story, although this is a good thing it harms the overall impact, it makes the story much harder to understand. The addition of history in the novel breaks down the emotions and understandability, making the cinematography much more pleasing. An example of this is the depth given to Tom Lemmings and his history, “In 1997, a defensive lineman named Boo Williams had been the most likely future NFL player in the nation. “He was the next Reggie White”, said Lemming, referring to the Hall of Fame pass rusher for the Green Bay Packers. As a junior in high school, Boo was six five, 265 pounds, ran a 4.740, and bench-pressed 375 pounds …” (Lewis, 40-41). This quote displays information about the picking of football players and other college recruitment. Going further into this chapter it starts to including a list of players, their descriptions, wages and pay, insurance payments, and much more. All this extra detailing and history makes the novel boring. However, in the movie, the details are there, but not in so much depth. An example in the movie is when Michael Oher is seen by other coaches from collages, recruitment offers are placed at his disposal. During this scene, it is shown that some players are mentioned but the overall focus is Michael and not boring information, saving the overall interest of the viewer.

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Another reason why the cinematography adaptation of ‘The Blind Side’ is more emotionally touching and easily understandable is due to the plot changes, the additions, deletions, and the alterations. An example of a deletion is Sean's role, in the book he was the first person to notice Michael’s struggle and had a major impact on helping Michael, “When Sean Tuohy first spotted Michael Oher sitting in the stands in the Briarcrest gym” (Lewis, 60). Although in the movie, the major impact comes from Leigh Anne. An example of an addition is the relationships shown. A character named SJ is added to the movie to make to make it emotional and inspirational. In the movie, SJ is shown helping Michael through his struggles, motivating him to keep going and is seen like a little brother to Michael. That does not happen in the book. In the book, Leigh Anne is seen helping Michael, but adding the connection that is sibling like really pushes the story forward. A couple examples shown in the movie are simply just missing from the novel. Michael meeting his brother Marcus at the restaurant, Leigh Anne confronting Big Mike and talking in the car, Leigh Anne meeting with Michael’s mother and wanting to know about his past, and Michael wanting to see his mom and then getting angry. All of these scenes display the connections between individuals and the ones that care, they bring up emotions and show vulnerability, portraying a parallel reality to the one we live in. In the book, most of these connections and relationships are missing, making it seem like the book is mostly just based on football history and facts. An example of the missing emotions, “ … my six-year-old asked, ‘Mama, who was that ?’. And I told her it was Big Mike … ‘Hi, Big Mike’ … And Big Mike just stared at her” (Lewis, 57). This quote displays no emotion other than the girls feeling frightened. However, in the movie the scene is altered, instead of the girls approaching him, it is the other way around. Michael looks at them and they are seen walking away from him. This scene shows sadness and loneliness and contributes to the end outcome, following his silent character instead of not contributing at all. The feelings are deeply moving in the cinematography adapted version, filling in for the missing ones in the novel.

Lastly, the final reasoning as to why the movie is more emotionally touching and easily understandable is due to the changes in point of view. Some of the changes in point of view go hand in hand with character development and detailing. In the book, Michael is never given his own point of view, it is always said in third person omniscient. An example would be, “... she said, laconically. “He was real quiet. He wasn’t disrespectful. He just ran”. Eventually, the Memphis Branch of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services had given up looking for Michael Oher” (Lewis, 292). This quote is said after a fight breaks out between Michael and Antonio. During these lines and in this chapter, it is never shown through Michael's eyes and what he was going through during the whole predicament. Skipping out on his point of view significantly brought down the levels of emotion that could have been portrayed through his eyes. The book also makes it kind of confusing because right after that quote is said, the novel switches to Michael’s past. Leaving out the point of view for these important events in Michael's life seem to take away at the final outcome of the original story itself, not showing his pain and thoughts on his past, that he doesn’t like talking about, this just leaves us listening to what the others have to say. In the movie, however, the story is a mix between Michael’s point of view and sometimes a third person point of view. Letting Michael’s point of view in the movie really let out his own feelings and made the story that much more authentic, creating the emotional touch on the viewer as well. An example from the movie is when Michael is emotionally hurt by the questions the investigator was asking and then proceeds to visit his biological mother, only to land himself into a situation where he fought out of anger. Using his point of view during this scene made it sincere and real, also making it easier for the viewers to get a grasp on what he was feeling. In that moment, the viewers would feel the hurt and the rush of anger.

All in all, the cinematography proved to be much more emotionally touching, and overall, much easier to understand compared to the original novel. Several differences can be shown between the novel and the movie adaptation, these differences can create the effects of the emotions to either flourish or deteriorate, the same effect occurs with understanding. Changes can either make the story simple or complex. The most important difference is that the novel is sectioned in two, one part focusing on student and football player Michael Oher, and the other on the history of American football in general. Viewing these differences, it is really up to preference as to which you prefer, the novel or the film adaptation. Overall, cinematography takes the win, although it is really rare for that to happen, ‘The Blind Side’ is an intricate case.

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‘The Blind Side’: Book Vs Movie. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-blind-side-book-vs-movie/
“‘The Blind Side’: Book Vs Movie.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/the-blind-side-book-vs-movie/
‘The Blind Side’: Book Vs Movie. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-blind-side-book-vs-movie/> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
‘The Blind Side’: Book Vs Movie [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Jan 31 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-blind-side-book-vs-movie/
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