The Hunger Games: Book or Movie?

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Photo Credit: Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons License

The Hunger Games book series pictured above.

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The Hunger Games trilogy tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year old girl from District Twelve in the country of Panem. There are twelve districts in Panem and they are all under the rule of the Capitol, their government. The government’s leader is President Snow, who controls all citizens. After a rebellion many years ago in Panem, the Capitol tries to keep the citizens in line by keeping them poor and hungry. Every year, the children of Panem are forced to fight in the ironically named, Hunger Games. Two tributes, a boy and girl are randomly selected from each district to fight. Katniss’ sister, Prim is selected and Katniss frantically volunteers to take her place. Peeta Mellark, the son of a baker, is selected for the boys. After Katniss’ father passed away, she assumed the responsibility of taking care of her mother and sister. She does not have many friends, except for Gale Hawthorne, with whom she hunts in the woods with for food.

Katniss and Peeta share a past that most are unaware of. In an extreme time of poverty and hunger, shortly after her father passes away, Peeta helps Katniss by giving her food. Because of this, Katniss feels indebted to Peeta, and tries to avoid him at all costs. After Katniss and Peeta are chosen, they are sent to the Capitol, which is where The Hunger Games takes place. For a couple nights, Katniss and Peeta live like they’ve never lived before. They are pampered and well fed. Before The Games, each tribute is interviewed on live TV to air to all the districts. The citizens of Panem are already intrigued by Katniss because of the fact that she volunteered for her sister, which is uncommon. The shallow people of the country are also fascinated by the outfits that she wears; one in particular is a dress that was on fire at the bottom. The citizens and newscasters dub her “the girl on fire.” On this night, Peeta and their mentor from District Twelve, Haymitch Abernathy, devise a plan to try and save both Katniss and Peeta. When Peeta goes out and gives his interview, he declares that he is in love with Katniss. Haymitch, who is the only surviving victor of District 12, thinks that this will make Katniss more likable. He believes that the more likable you are, the more sponsors you will get.

Katniss and Peeta are sent into the arena, and the games begin. The tributes fight each other, hunger, and death every day. Katniss befriends a sweet girl from District 12 named, Rue while in the arena, and she eventually is killed. After a while, the citizens believe that Katniss and Peeta are in love with each other. They all desperately want for them to both come out alive, so it is announced that if the two people surviving are from the same districts, they can both win. So Katniss sets out to find Peeta, to find him injured and so she nurses him back to health. In the end Katniss and Peeta are the last two, and realize that the “rule change” was not real and only one of them can go home. They decide that either both of them or neither of them are going home, so they both feign eating poison berries, and in the end they are both crowned victors.

The novel was published in November 2008, and because of its popularity, the movie was released in 2012. The Hunger Games is a book series, made up of three books; The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  The first book is so good, but does the movie measure up to it? The movie can be a bit confusing if one has not read the book. When a book is turned into a movie, sometimes they can be disappointing and may not live up to the book. Movies are not always true to the book, and the director can interpret the book different than someone else did.

The Hunger Games is a great book, but the movie tends to be confusing at moments. In the beginning of the movie, Katniss gives Prim the Mockingjay pin, but in the book, the pin is given to Katniss by one of her only friends, Madge. Madge is the daughter of the mayor of District 12, and like Katniss, she keeps to herself. The whole concept of the Hunger Games is not explained well in the movie either. As the movie starts, the audience is given a brief explanation, but that is all.

Jennifer Lawrence is a wonderful Katniss, but at first she was not what one expected. Katniss’ character was strong willed, which she nails, but she is also feisty. In the movie, she is only depicted as feisty in a few scenes. Other than that, she is just quiet. In the second movie, she captures Katniss better than in the first.

The Hunger Games movie had its confusing moments; some details were left out and it may not have been what some expected. In the end, it was a good movie, and an even better book.

 

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