So I have recently finished The Hunger Games and have to say it is one of the most addicting novels I have bought for ages. I have started reading The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in anticipation for this year's film, but want to make a few comparisons to the first book and film. Below is some good things about the movie in relation to the book as well as the not so good things or things that could have been better in relation to the book. I have only chosen a select few, not every single detail or else we would be here forever.
What the Film did Right
1. District 12
The District 12 setting that was displayed in the film was exactly how I picture it would be. Even though it did not show much detail compared to the description and detail in the book, the film was able to sum up the first 2-3 chapters along with Katniss' memories of the place in the first 20 minutes. The coal miners, the run down shacks, the third world style homes was exactly what needed to be shown for a 2 hour movie.
Woody Harrelson's Haymitch was one of the best novel to film characters in The Hunger Games. Harrelson portrayed the character to almost exactly how he was in the book. Harrelson's charm and reluctance truly pays off, but it is hard to see how he could have won The Hunger Games. He is smart, drunk but determined and deep down truly cares for Katniss and Peeta. Although there's a better relationship shown in the book, the film and Harrelson does Haymitch justice.
3. The Capitol Versus Everyone Else
Although the Capitol's brutality could have been shown better (it will do in the second film) in the first film, the constant fear of The Capitol having control is shown quite well- especially with Donald Sutherland playing President Snow. Although he is only shown in a few scenes, Snow's presence is both sinister and cruel and I cannot wait to see how his darker side comes to life when the revolution begins.
What the Film did Wrong
1. Background/Beginning Story
One of the things that could have made the movie that much greater was the beginning story of Katniss in District 12. Characters such as the mayor, the mayor's daughter and Peeta's Dad should have been there for a few scenes. Mayor- Buying Katniss and Gale's Food and talking on stage in The Reaping. The Mayor's Daughter (Madge) who is pretty much Katniss' other close friend who gives her the Mockinjay Pin. Peeta's Dad- looks after Katniss' family and is love with Katniss' mother.
2. The Brutality and Length of the Games
Even though it is only a 2 hour movie, the sheer brutality, violence and length of the games should have been more evident. One of the best things about reading book one is the length of the games itself, which seems to take forever (2 weeks). I guess with the film, more of the violence should have been shown (even if it turns to a MA rating) as well as the survival skills of finding food and water. Even the length of the Games could have been longer instead of making it feel like a few days. Cato's slow and painful death which lasts all night in the novel, should have been shown in the movie along with Peeta's bad leg and unconsciousness.It's only a few minor details that could have made it that much better.
3. Katniss and Peeta- The Love Story
The chemistry between Katniss and Peeta was not the greatest thing ever in the film. Although Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutchinson played the characters well, their overall love story was crap compared to the novel. In the novel, Peeta was very much in love and showed more affection with even Katniss even showing it for the cameras. Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawerence's chemistry was way better as they both suited their charcaters' friendship that was shown in the book and film. What was shown in the film between Katniss and Peeta was good, but should have been way better.
4. The Muttations/ The Big Finale
The Finale of the Games with the showdown between the muttations and the tributes should have been better in almost every way. In the novel, the muttations had the characteristics and genetics of the fallen tributes. This should have been shown in the movie as it would have shown the cruelty and brutality of The Capitol's power. Not only would it have been interesting to see, but it would have been an epic way to conclude the games. As well as this, the death of Thresh (District 9) in the movie was quick and poor compared to the novel. In the novel, the death of Thresh occurred between a showdown with Cato. Due to the fact the story is told through Katniss' eyes, the battle between Cato and Thresh should have been displayed, even if it made the movie longer.
So there you have it. I could go on but this is what I think was done right and was done wrong in the film compared to the novel. What about you? What do you think? Comment below
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins November 22nd.