Seeing the Story – The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ross, G., Collins, S., Ray, B., Jacobson, N., Kilik, J., Lawrence, J., Hutcherson, J., … Lions Gate Home Entertainment. (2012). The hunger games. Santa Monica, Calif: Lions Gate Home Entertainment.

Reasons for Watching: I read The Hunger Games Trilogy a couple of years ago. Of course, I had to see the first movie!

Summary : Set in a bleak future, the nation of Panem consists of twelve poor districts controlled by the very powerful Capitol. The nefarious President Snow (Donald Sutherland) rules Panem with absolute control. Due to a long ago rebellion, the Capitol forces the districts to take part in the Hunger Games – a televised fight to the death. Annually, each district must send a teenage boy and girl, selected by lottery, to participate.  When sixteen-year old Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) twelve-year old sister Prim (Willow Shields) is selected in District 12, Katniss volunteers to take Prim’s place. Katniss and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the boy from District Twelve are sent to compete against other tributes. With the help of past winner Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), and Capitol escort Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), Katniss aims to survive.

Book to Movie Adaptation : As author Suzanne Collins worked on the screenplay, the spirit of the film remained true to the book. Of course, there were some key differences.

The largest one is the point of view. All the books are narrated by Katniss. While Katniss tells readers what she thinks is happening, the movie lacks Katniss’ narration/voice-over. So, in the movie, characters such as President Snow have larger roles. Also, viewers can see the people in the districts watching and reacting to The Hunger Games as well as the Game Center Techs at work.

Other characters, such as Madge Undersee, aren’t in the movie In the book, it’s Madge who gives Katniss the emblematic pin of the mockingjay. The dynamic between the Everdeen and Mellark families and their places in the social strata of District 12 didn’t make the film.  

For more spoiler-esque differences, check out The Hunger Games Wiki’s listing at this link.

Review : My imagination ran wild while I read the books. I was quite pleased, though. It definitely is violent but done tastefully and I marveled at the casting. Some of my favorites were Lenny Kravitz (Cinna), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman, and Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss). I was only disappointed by the filmmakers leaving out Madge.

Four Out of Five Pearls