I read the first book over Winter Break and was hooked. I immediately searched for the trailer online, found it, and started counting down the days until March 23rd. Suzanne Collins was so descriptive when writing about her post-apocalyptic world and its inhabitants… When I watched the trailer, I realized that Panem was being depicted just as my imaginative little mind pictured it to be. I was beyond excited.
Thankfully, like the book and like the trailer, the movie did not disappoint. As always, the book is better, but that can be said about all films adapted from books. As I was watching it, I felt that it was much more moving because I read the book. I already knew the characters and empathized with them. I not only knew what they were thinking and feeling, but also knew why they were thinking and feeling those things, something that can’t be translated to film.
Changes and things I noticed:
- The mockingjay pin was given to Katniss by a woman at The Hob. Therefore, Madge was cut from the film. I don’t know how this will carry over to the next film, since Madge becomes one of Katniss’s only friends and because of the jealousy Katniss feels when she thinks Madge and Gale are becoming close.
- The avox girl was cut out. A source of guilt and agony for Katniss, but also a source of forgiveness.
- I felt that Cinna’s role was cut short. Cinna became one of the only people Katniss felt she could trust, but that wasn’t established well in the film.
- The history of the mockingjay was never explained. What the hell is a mockingjay if you haven’t read the book? Also, the fate of District 13 was never brought up either.
- She found water way too quickly in the movie. Dehydration was a huge issue in the book.
- The muttations. The one thing I was actually disappointed about. When I read the book, I was so shocked about their likeness to fallen tributes. I couldn’t wait to actually see them! Booooooo!
- Cato didn’t suffer long in the movie. It was such a gut-wrenching thing to read, but not as bad to watch in the film.
- You don’t get a sense of what Katniss feels while kissing Peeta. How she thinks about Gale. Or how Rue reminds her of Prim.
- Gale’s background wasn’t explained either. There is no mention about his father being killed in the same mine explosion that killed Katniss’s father.
- Katniss’s relationships with her father and with Gale were brushed off in the movie.
- Katniss felt she owed Peeta something because of the bread. That was never touched on.
- There was no mention about how squeamish Katniss was about injuries and sick people.
- The time in the training center was hurried. You don’t get a good sense of all the stations that were available to the tributes. Nor do you realize how long Katniss and Peeta had to wait before showing off their skills to the gamemakers.