Last week I talked about how I was super excited to watch The Hunger Games movie, after reading the trilogy at lightening speed. The differences between the 1st book and the movie; however, left me feeling deflated and detached.
Who would change these things that bugged me so? Tell me…who!? I was told that the screenplay was written by none other than…
Suzanne Collins herself.
On the one hand, I felt better about the changes in the movie if they were made by the author because, well, it’s her story. If she felt that these changes were alright and didn’t interfere with the story overall ~ who am I to judge?
On the other hand, why ~ oh why ~ did she change Buttercup (a yellow smushed faced cat) to a black and white cat?
Yes, the cat again. It still bugs me.
Anyway, last week I left off right before the reaping ~ so that’s where I’ll pick up.
I liked how the reaping went ~ the prep where Katniss and Prim got dressed and arrived in the middle of the district for the ‘celebration’. I liked how they were shuffled in, all dressed up for the slaughter, basically. It felt very haunting. Very Shindler’s List. There were three problems, though, at the reaping itself:
- When Prim’s name is called and Katniss volunteers in her place, it was done pretty much like the book ~ which is great ~ but the beginning didn’t accentuate the closeness between Katniss & Prim enough for me to be emotionally wrapped up like I was in the book. That fact took some punch out of that important scene.
- Drunken Haymitch was missing. I was looking forward to him falling about and pawing at Effie. Sigh..
- It was confusing in the movie why Katniss was given such a gesture by the community because her place and importance in the community wasn’t established.
Now this, I know, is being super nit-picky ~ but I’ll say it anyway. The residents of The Capitol are supposed to be incredibly ridiculous with their clothes and their body morphing trends ~ and they were ~ but their accents are to be equally ridiculous ~ right? I felt that the way Effie Trinket spoke was not different enough ~ according to Katniss and Gale’s conversations, their accents were extremely bizarre. I don’t think the movie captured that very well.
So, they whisk Katniss away and they say brief goodbyes (a couple of which were missed saying goodbye to Katniss) and that was all done very well. I liked how the bullet train took them into the capitol city and showed the diverse color of it right away. That had the same affect on me as The Wizard of Oz did when Dorothy stepped into Munchkin Land for the first time.
Then we get to the games:
- In the games, I was missing the danger, intensity and fear that I felt for Katniss in the book. This all stems from the lack of build-up from the beginning, I believe. If there were more time spent on the relationship between the viewer and Katniss in her world and her situation, I may have felt more fear in the games for her.
- And, excuse me, but wasn’t much of the horror at the end of the games from the tribute-faced muttations..when Katniss realized what they were? Sadly, that was missing.
- During the games in the movie, it was nice that you were shown how Haymitch was working for Katniss and Peeta in getting them sponsors ~ although Woody Harrelson needed to be drunkened up a bit. ..and by a bit, I mean a ton…
~ Think Otis from Andy Griffith ~ yeah, that’s about right..
In the end, Katniss and Peeta were victorious. Was anyone else feeling, though, that Katniss was in grave danger? She was, of course, and I don’t believe that translated into the movie. They mentioned it, but I didn’t FEEL it. Or did you feel that her and Peeta were at odds?
No? Me either..
Overall, my conclusion about the book vs. movie is that the book wins ~ hands down ~ no question. The movie is good if you’ve never read the book or if you can just leave it behind in your mind.
I think if you are going to watch the movie and read the book, that you should watch the movie first and fill in the blanks with the book. The movie will make a lot more sense and I have a feeling there will be a lot of “ohhhhh, that’s what that meant…” moments for you.
So, tell me ~ was it only me who felt this emotional disconnect throughout the movie? Have you read or seen The Hunger Games? Are you looking forward to Catching Fire?