The Hunger Games: Was the movie worthy of the book?

by: Nicole Krebs and Andrea Renville

The Hunger Games is a book series that is quickly growing into a franchise. With the release of the movie in March, the hype has certainly not gone down. Everyone knows about The Hunger Games and wants to be in on it. Two Pine Needle writers have differing opinions about the quality of the film as opposed to the quality if the novel. It’s time to debate who is right. (Warning: be careful reading this if you’re planning to read the books but have not yet done so.)

Resolved: The movie of Hunger Games was an impressive portrayal of the story.

Pro

Personally, I was very impressed with how they depicted the movie, having read the entire series before the movie. They left out some slight details, which were things only readers of the series would pick up on. The most important fact is that the director kept the vital parts in the two and a half hour film. Gary Ross worked with the author of The Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins, to be sure fans would be impressed with the film, and that they were.

In particular, I was very impressed with the casting of the movie. They did a fine job of displaying the characters how I pictured them in the book, except I would have liked to see Liam Hemsworth play Katniss’ Games partner Peeta instead of Gale. The roles of Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, for some reason should have been reversed for me. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket was cast perfectly.

The small changes, such as the character of Madge being cut from the film, really frustrate me. Katniss is supposed to receive the Mockingjay pin from Madge. The reader later learns that the reason Madge has it in the first place is because of some family history. Additionally, in the movie, it felt like the Games lasted over a couple of days, but in the book it lasted a lot longer, which didn’t give much space to see the struggles Katniss had to face in the arena. In the book, she’s supposed to be searching for water to the point of dehydration, but in the movie it seemed as if she just stumbled upon a pond of water.

On the reverse, I was very happy with how they displayed Katniss’ time with Rue. I felt their time together was a little short, but once her death hit, the filmmakers spent a good amount of time depicting Katniss’ sadness. All the big details, such as the cornucopia, the feast and the cave scene of the book were included in the movie, which made me extremely happy. I also really enjoyed how they made the movie completely about the Games and not about the romance.

I recommend anyone to read the books because they are great, but only before they see the movie.

Con

I personally was not a fan of The Hunger Games movie. First of all I must admit I strongly dislike movies that are made from books. Also, I really dislike how the character Madge was cut from the movie, the person that gives Katniss the gold pin. It angered me how Katniss found the gold pin at the trading post. After all, Madge’s family becomes a slightly major role in the other two books.

I do have to say though that it was nice to have a visual representation of what I read in the book, but it made me sad that the world I created in my brain was not what was put on screen. The real reason I dislike books that have been made into movies is the fact that Hollywood is materializing something we, in our minds, make immortal.

Otherwise it was not a horrible movie. Although the performance by Lenny Kravitz, as Cinna, left much to be desired; it was as if every time he was on screen it became “The Lenny Kravitz Show.”

All in all I would give this movie a B-.

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