In the beginning of the movie, and the book, it opens up to the main character, Thomas. Every glader (the boys who live in the Maze) wakes up not knowing anything but his name. In the movie Thomas doesn’t remember his name until he takes a hit to the head. However, in the book, he remembers his name as soon as he wakes up. In fact, that is one of his first thoughts.
Overall, the book did a better job of really giving the thoughts of Thomas. This is because the book has more details anyway. The movie really jumps from the very beginning of the story to the beginning of the next day. A viewer wouldn’t get the complete thoughts and feelings Thomas has as much as a reader would.
Each month the glade receives a new boy to take on the life of a glader until they find a way out of the maze. The maze is always changing but follows a pattern that becomes important at the end of the book.
Each month a new glader arrives out of the “box.” This is the elevator that food and supplies ride up into the glade each week. Each glader that comes through has a specific job to do to help all of them survive. One job is being a runner who goes out in the maze everyday to try and find a way out by mapping the part they were running through. From day one, Thomas knew that he wanted to be a runner.
That’s where Thomas becomes curious; he is the only one who cares to know about anything. The gladers don’t care to know about why they are there or what’s on the other end of the Maze. They just want to get out of the glade. This is what gets him stuck in the next situation. Thomas and two other characters, Minho and Alby, get trapped in the Maze. They come face to face with these creatures called Grievers. The way the book describes them is exactly how they look in the movie. The special effects team did really good there!
There is at least one flaw in the change from book to movie, however. In the book the gladers somehow have electricity, but the movie shows that there isn’t any electricity. In the book the boys’ “homestead” has electricity going to it, which provides light in the home. The book has more mystery to this detail. The movie just makes it more realistic by having no electricity.
They are literally doing everything on their own in the glade. They have to farm, add on to their home, and cook the animals they do have to survive. The movie shows some of that, but truthfully, a book version will always have more detail than a movie version. This is for the best; the book didn’t go into extreme detail about their daily life, but as the movie shows, it wasn’t extremely important.
A movie version can also add or takeaway elements of the novel to make the story easier to understand or more entertaining for audiences. In this case, the movie took away the telepathic connection between Thomas and Teresa. In the book they are talking to each other in their minds before Teresa even gets to the Maze. Thomas and Teresa’s telepathy is used throughout the book, so the movie takes away the deeper relationship they have. Teresa is the only girl that has ever been in the glade. She is also the last person the gladers get. Unfortunately, the viewer doesn’t get to see how deep Thomas and Teresa’s connection is in the movie. Moviegoers do see that Thomas is the only person Teresa really trusts in the movie, which is true in the book. Not showing the depth of their relationship isn’t the best change, but it worked for the on-screen performance. This works on screen because Thomas truly is the only person Teresa feels comfortable with.
To end the movie, everything is almost the same as in the book, except for a couple of minor elements that don’t affect the outcome.
In review, this movie is good for anyone who likes science fiction. The movie gets at an “in the future” theme. Also, this movie is really enjoyable for girls because the cast consists of mostly boys. The movie does portray ideas of the book a little differently, but it’s still creates a good visual of the book.
There are many other conditions that make the movie different from the book, but in the end, it’s still the same story line. The gladers are all there trying to find a way out of the maze.
-by Abby Perdue