Hunger Games: Movie vs. Book

Source: Wikimedia

Just a week or two ago I finally read the Hunger Games book. I know that’s very late but I’m generally not into dystopian societies and didn’t think I’d like the books. But a friend bought me the first book, so I felt obligated to read it. I’m so glad I did, it wasn’t anything like I expected and I loved it. I read all three of them in a week.

Today, I watched the first movie. I couldn’t fathom how they were able to make the first book, where so much happens, into a movie. I was certain they were going to be horrible. I wasn’t right, yet again. The movie seemed like they didn’t have a lot of money to work with, but they did a decent job.

As always, the book was significantly better but that’s how it always is when a book is turned into a movie. I really didn’t get some of their choices. Like how Katniss found the pin in the Hobbs instead of getting it from the Mayor’s daughter, Madge. What would it have been, an extra three or so minutes to add her in there? I mean, the pin has so much meaning that arises from the fact that Madge gave it to her. Because it was once Madge’s aunt’s, a girl that died in the Hunger Games herself.

Also, a lot of scenes packed a harder punch in the book than in the movie. Like when Peeta declared his love for Katniss, I was floored when I read that. In the movie it was just more ‘oh… that’s interesting’. And when Katniss first sees Peeta with the Careers? Oh my god that didn’t just happen! My heart stopped, for reals, when I read that. I couldn’t believe it. In the movie it didn’t pack the same punch, it just couldn’t, not even if I didn’t know that was coming. Because Katniss and Peeta didn’t have that friendship-ish-thing that they formed during the training when they had to pretend to be friends. You know?

Then the ending was all smashed together in the movie. The way the book ended, with Peeta realizing that Katniss was acting, with her realizing that she was loosing the boy with the bread (which, they didn’t do a good job explaining how pivotal of a moment that was in her life). I just remembering thinking that was one hell of a way to end a book, with such power. I wasn’t a Peeta/Katniss fan at the time (Gale was my guy) but I still loved the ending of the book. The movie was all right.

I would still recommend seeing the movie. I’m sure if more people buy the DVD and such then they’ll be able to put more money into the next movie. It could use a bigger budget, particularly for all that the second movie will have in it. I can’t imagine how they’ll manage to make the second arena.