Staying True to “The Hunger Games”As every high school student and adult alike may have heard, there is a popular work of fiction that was recently made into a movie and is currently breaking all kinds of box office records. This, of course, would be “The Hunger Games.” As is true with any book brought to the big screen, a dance is done between a novel's finer details and the movie's depiction. In this case, is it a proper representation or completely off target? All in all, “The Hunger Games” movie seems to have been given a big mockingjay stamp of approval by fans. For the most part, the missing details could be considered inconsequential and/or simply subject to every individual fan’s taste (such as readers may not have imagined Gale as an Abercrombie model rather than a scruffy guy from District 12, though they probably enjoyed it as a viewer nonetheless). The interaction between Katniss and her Prep Team – Octavia, Venia and Flavius – goes unmentioned in the film and the endearing relationship that evolves between them is nonexistent. Also, Haymitch sobers up quickly in the movie whereas in the book, he spends much more of his time under the influence and the effort of shaping him up into a proper coach is a mission that unites Katniss and Peeta on their journey to the Games. A more serious change of detail was the mockingjay pin. In the book, the governor’s daughter, Madge, is one of the few who comes to say goodbye to Katniss after the Reaping and gives her the pin as her token to take. This gives the pin more meaning, both political and sentimental, than the way Katniss acquires it in the movie. In the book, Katniss and Peeta's heart-to-heart that goes south the night before the Hunger Games are set to start. What begins as sharing time over their individual motivations for the games ends in a fight which serves to stir doubt within Katniss over whether or not she can trust Peeta in the arena. Going into the Games, she isn’t so sure she has a teammate. In the movie, they’re conversation is amiable and it may be unclear for some why he decided to join up with the other tributes if he and Katniss were on friendly terms. To some, the lack of hovercrafts may have been too modest to note. However, they served a purpose in Rue’s case. The emotion was conveyed in the movie, but Katniss’ motivation was more than loss when it came to adorning Rue with flowers after she is killed. In the book, Katniss not only wants to honor Rue as a real person who will be missed, but also considers the fact that those in the hovercraft will have to take the flowers out of her hair and hands one by one and possibly think about what they are a part of. Through her grief, it is a way Katniss conveys a message to the Capitol. Another message moment cut short in the movie is when Katniss and Peeta are the last pair standing and are told only one can win. Their struggle over how it should end takes time the movie probably did not have and Katniss actually shows the cameras the nightlock berries before they put them in their mouths as another way to beat the Capitol at their own game. She knows they need a winner. This clear intent on Katniss’ part explains the Capitol’s feelings a bit more in the end and why they consider her such a threat. Overall, Katniss is a survivor in both the books and the movie. Within the novels, protagonist Katniss is clever, calculated, and proving a point. Some may see that in the movie, some may not. She has an intense hatred for the Capitol and its politics that may have been a bit masked within the film. Nonetheless, the books have become a political commentary and English students are studying them for a young adult fiction formula. In the end, the movies can only bring to life a story the world fell in love with and readers will have to fill in the blanks.
SourcesScholastic (2012) “The Hunger Games” (2012)
Written by: Random Girl at 4:26 PM