The Hunger Games: the book vs. the movie

I am going to sound like a complete teenager but I was looking forward to see The Hunger Games so badly that I was bursting with excitement. Before the movie hit the cinemas, I was determined to read the books. Although I spent 3 days reading 3 books in January, I remember all of them like it was yesterday. Same goes for the movie, that I watched twice. To be fair, I never got on to the Twilight wagon and I missed the train of fan-girling over Pattinson and Stewart, so it was just my time to get crazy about something. Just that my crazy is much more normal because I have so many movies and shows to go crazy over.

So my question that I asked myself was probably something a lot of the Hunger Games fans asked themselves: was the movie as good as the book or vice versa? The matter of making a book into a movie is quite the process, but I found it interesting and refreshing that the author of the book was actually the person writing the script for the movie. I thought it to be a good sign because she will stay true to the main concept and keep everything important in the movie while being able to make honest cuts regarding the story lines.

Book was great. Like the typical American teen-entertainment book should be and I didn’t mind it at all. It kept me awake until the morning and I was cheering on in my mind for the main characters Katniss and Peeta. Where as the girl was a bit confusing, her choices and thoughts a bit messy but over all it all was just a great love story between the two. Movie left it all a bit shallow. But I hardly find it possible to create something which took over 300 pages to evolve. Putting all that into a movie would be a challenge, there was a lot that was missing from the story which could indicate that the people who saw the movie without reading the book were confused. Movie was divided into groups of events: the reaping, the training, the arena. While Jennifer Lawrence who portrayed Katniss was amazing, able to show emotions instead of Stewart, Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta was at times doubtful. While the simpatico part of Peeta was believable the other, the scared and worried Peeta, was constantly holding his mouth opened, which for some reason bothered me way too much.

What the movie did, was the fact that it made it all visual and the concept of Capitol became more understandable. Of course I was trying to imagine everything while reading it, the Capitol part was the only thing where I found my imagination lacking, so for me the movie brought it out much more than the book ever did. Lawrence was perfect for Katniss, while Peeta in the books was a bit different. Though the difference between Peeta and Gale, portrayed by Liam Hemsworth, was brought out rather well regarding the casting. Other characters were not as important to be, the trio played the main role in the books and in the movies, though the castings for others was fair and understandable.

When it comes down to preference, I would go with the book for sure. Not because the movie was bad, it is probably because the movie required too much context from the books to work as good as it did. Filling in the caps was probably the main point of the movie, especially when it came to the thoughts of Katniss as presented in the book. That being said, I was glad that the movie didn’t go with the voice over. That could have lowered the quality quite a bit because like I’ve heard, using voice over means going for the easy way out and the writer and the director, Gary Ross, were brave enough to go with the direction they did. Now as the first movie has died off, the second part is surely heating up and it will be interesting to see what the new  director will do because Ross won’t be returning. Not to mention the casting of new character, especially Finnick who might be the most difficult to cast.

And like I said in the beginning, I am fan-girling over The Hunger Games pretty hard, so there is no doubt that I am waiting for the Catching Fire, which is scheduled to be released in November 2013. For those who haven’t read the books, be sure to at least try because you’ll never know if you’re going to like them or not. If not, at least you’ll have solid arguments against it.

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