Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Hunger Games

Last week, my brother Rap and I went to see the movie 'The Hunger Games'. I've recently read the book and was eager to see how it translated into the big screen.

Set in the post-Apocalyptic North America, known as Panem, which is composed of 12 Districts and ruled by the evil Capitol. Every year one boy and one girl from each District must be chosen and sent to the Capitol. They are forced to fight each other until only one survives.

Book cover
The concept isn't something new or unique. Imagine 'The Running Man' meets 'Gladiator' meets 'The Truman Show'. What's shocking though, is that the fighters (called Tributes) are aged 12 to 18! (Some may argue because of the 'Lord of the Flies')

Although the screenplay was also written by the author, Suzanne Collins, quite a number of differences ensued. Some of those are listed below:

1.  The book is narrated in the 1st person while the movie from a 3rd person point of view. It would have been better if the movie was told through the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. I think the movie could emotionally connect more with the viewers.

2.  In the book, because the characters live in poverty and starvation, it was inculcated into the reader's mind their literal 'hungry' aspect. In the movie however no such thing occurred. In fact, in scenes where food is included Katniss Everdeen actually looked bored.

3.  I don't like how the story of the Mockingjay pin was told in the movie. I'm confused as to why they have to change it when it's pretty important. Duh, it is the book cover!

4.  The scheming and manipulative Head Gamemaker, Seneca Crane was added in the movie to explore the production part of the Hunger Games arena.This is a point for the film because not all viewers are readers of the book.
Movie poster

5.  The killing of the Tributes were more detailed and graphic (often prolonged) in the book. I guess in order to get a PG-13 rating, the movie showed somewhat blurred and hazy quick deaths of the players.

6.  Though Katniss did cover Rue's body with flowers both in the book and movie, Rue's District 11 didn't incite rebellion as shown in the movie. Instead they sent Katniss a loaf of bread to show gratitude.

7.  I think because of the overly sappy, gagging love story of the 'Twilight' series, Collins consciously and expertly trimmed the 'romantic scenes' in the book and trimmer still in the movie. Hurray!

8.  The ending is not the same.

Of course it is expected for a film to be a bit different from its novel. Except for Misery and North & South, I've yet to see a screen adapted book that I liked better than its source. Anyway, as Effie Trinket would giddily say: 'Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!'.

         Book: 4/5
         Movie: 3.5/5



Faye & Martha said...

I'm still not over the fact that I've read the book BUT haven't watched the movie!!! Seems like the book is better though...


Anonymous said...

You have to watch it for yourself. It's good but not great.