Red Dragon is a 400 page novel that introduces the reader to a well-known character throughout films and novels, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Thomas Harris went on to write 2 sequels after Red Dragon due to its popularity. The novel brings the reader in to the lifestyle of killers, FBI agents, and families. When writing the book Harris had an unlimited space to discuss characters and plots. All the characters in Red Dragon are very crucial to the plot and spending time getting to know them helps us understand who they are and how they came to be. When Red Dragon was adapted in to a film several of these plots needed to be cut so that we, as humans, could sit and watch the movie without getting too bored.
While all film adaptations cannot exactly replicate the novel it was based on, I think that it was very important for Red Dragon to follow such replication. Harris’ novel was superb and vivid because of the detail that he included and the sub-plots the reader could follow. Getting inside the mind of a killer is not easy and asking a film to do that is quite difficult. A reader can use the vividness of the detail to conjure up in their imagination their own worst nightmare and make the novel seem that much scarier; however, with the film, we are forced to see what the director saw. We are forced to see what Hollywood wants us to see.
I love films and novels. I have a vast film and book collection; however, as I complete more and more of these vectors I am beginning to lose a little bit of my appreciation for film. Films don’t portray what I can in my mind when reading a novel. They cannot scare me as much as my own fear and imagination. Are filmmakers just attempting to achieve what the author did when he/she wrote the book? With novels as a medium, I feel people can grow more from reading than from viewing a film. Perhaps some mediums are more meaningful and are able to convey more knowledge than others?