Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games - Do the Book and Movie Match?

I saw the movie yesterday and as I promised all month, I dressed up like Katniss. I was the only one, which disappointed me, but perhaps dressing up like an iconic character for a movie is an effort that belongs to a past era. At least the costume didn’t make me look like an idiot. Plus, I enjoyed doing it.

There are two parts in both the movie and the book where a three-fingered tribute is given. It’s the same hand gesture the Girl Scouts use when they start their pledge, “On my honor I will try.” Perhaps Suzanne Collins thought about that when she created the idea because certainly Katniss makes it clear that on her honor she is going to try to survive, which means winning the Hunger Games. The characters kiss the three fingers and then make a salute outward. I was the only one in the audience who reciprocated. Both times. Clearly I’m too involved in the story line and perhaps I should have auditioned for the part of Katniss.

But none of this answers the question that is the topic of my blog. Do the movie and the book match? I’m pleased to say that they do. There are a few parts that aren’t exact, such as where Katniss gets the mockingjay pin. But there’s no time in a movie to set up everything that would entail, and it’s unimportant. The pin itself is what’s important and she ends up with it in her possession.

Some kids at the popcorn counter complained that the movie isn’t gory enough. They thought the book had more blood and commented how cool it would have been had all the ways the tributes died been shown. I agree that some of that is toned down. But the point of the story isn’t how gory the deaths are. The point of the story is why the games are conducted in the first place and how does Panem benefit from them. What eventually causes the people to rebel against the governmental control? The movie shows all of that beautifully.

The New York Times accuses the casting director of putting the wrong actress into the role of Katniss. Their specific complaint is that Jennifer Lawrence is “too curvy” to play a 16-year-old. There are two short scenes where that’s true. We’re talking 30 seconds total between the two shots and unless you’re nitpicking, this isn't a big deal. Lawrence effectively portrays the character of Katniss and was completely believable.

I know the plot backwards and forwards and as I watched the movie, anticipating each scene, it was delivered. What was even better was that the settings and the action are shown exactly as I imagined them when I read the book.

All in all, I had a great time at the movie and when the DVD comes out, if I don’t get it as a present, I’ll buy it myself. So yes, the book and movie match. If you haven’t read the book, be sure to enter my contest by clicking on this link to win your choice of one of the books in the trilogy. There’s only a week left to become one of the three winners.

Have you seen the movie and read the book? Please leave a comment with your opinion.  

No comments:

Post a Comment