2012 25/03

The Hunger Games: movie vs. book

I have read all three of the books in The Hunger Games series. Actually, I’ve read Hunger Games twice. I tend to do that. If I’m especially intrigued by a book and if I’m planning on seeing the film.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said at least a hundred times, I’m surprised at how moms have latched on to this series. And, oh my word, how on earth are they going to make these into movies without being rated R?

If you have not read the book, well, then I’m not sure this post is for you because I’m going to blabber on about why I liked the book better than the movie. If you’ve read the book and not seen the movie, be advised that this will have spoilers. And, if you’ve read the book and seen the movie, feel free to agree or disagree with me.

Ok, let’s talk about this.

First, casting. While I think Jennifer Lawrence is a lovely actor, I just wasn’t feeling her as Katniss. Katniss is supposed to be about 16 in The Hunger Games. Of course many actors can get away with playing a younger character, but I just wasn’t feeling Lawrence as a 16 year old. I also was not a huge fan of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta at the beginning of the film. However I think he redeemed himself once they got into the arena. The rest of the casting was great!

My biggest problem with the film was that it skipped over quite a few key parts of the book. Yes, movies need to cut pieces out to make it flow and, who knows, maybe if you had never read the book you may never miss those pieces. But I did. And I did.

I missed them not having Haymich fall of the stage at the Reaping. I felt they really brushed over him being an angry drunk all together. One minute he was a little tipsy and then next he was all Let’s train you crazy little tributes!

I did not like that they included notes in the “gifts” in the arena. It totally took away from the notion that Katniss and Haymich created this unspoken communication. Speaking of gifts, what about the bread from Rue’s district after her death? Or the sleeping syrup for Peeta?

Then there is the scene where the games themselves end. When the mutated dogs come after Katniss, Peeta, and Cato. In the movie, they make no mention of the mutts having the same eyes and general resemblance of the dead tributes. Or how the mutts took their time trying to kill Cato. By eliminating these pieces they missed showing how truly sadistic the Capitol is.

The biggest part that I was surprised they cut was Peeta and Katniss’ time in the cave. They made it so short. Not enough time for them to fall in love. Or for Katniss to fall in love with Peeta, since Peeta was already there. No rainstorm holding them hostage in the cave. No immediate drought driving them toward the lake for water and, thus, a fight with Cato.

And only two kisses? What the hell? Would you believe that two people were in love if they kissed once on the cheek and once on the lips? Umm. No.

What I did like about the movie…I really liked how they used commentary between Caesar and whoever it was he was talking to to explain certain things that are explained in the book in Katniss’ thoughts. The cannon boom in the arena. Nightlock. And I liked how they showed Seneca and the game makers creating things like the fireballs and mutts to drive the tributes together.

Probably my favorite addition to the movie (not in the book) was the ‘execution’ of Seneca Crane. Having him walk into the room with the bowl of Nightlock? Brilliant!

So, the movie was ok. It wasn’t horrible. It was ok. I’ll be very interested to see how they do Catching Fire as a movie. But do you think it’s too much to ask for them to recast Katniss?

If you made it through this post, read the books and watched the movie, I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Did you love the book & not the movie? Loved both? Neither? 

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