I have not been able to put my feelings into words or find them completely in others’ words since the opening of the movie.I should have known that the years of anticipation leading up to this movie would leave me dissatisfied. I was not a bandwagon reader. I was assigned this novel back in ’08 for an adolescent lit class. I immediately fell in love. I waited patiently… or not so patiently, for the remaining two novels to come out and completed each of them within a day totally immersing myself in the suspense. I was fascinated by the characters and could not get over how absorbed I was into this fictional dystopian world.
I was obviously elated when I heard that the Hunger Games would be adapted for the big screen! Would they stay true to the plot? Would they do it justice? Would Susanne Collins have a say in any changes made?
I purposely stayed away from early reviews and casting critiques which all seemed nasty and racist. Such a well-composed trilogy did not deserve the spotlight for insignficant arguments such as, why are they casting black characters in important roles, but rather commended for the suspenseful style, attention to detail, and command of the reader’s attention throughout each of the novels.
Then, Friday night came. My first thought. Why are words scrolling across the screen? Why aren’t they being read? They are scrolling pretty quickly. I have students who cannot read this fast. Uh-oh. I’ve got my critical face on. This is not going to go well.The rest of the movie followed suit. The point of view changed from first-person in the novel to third-person in the movie. We lost Katniss…
Character development went missing. Important sub plots and details were glossed over, major themes were made irrelevant or ignored, the audience was expected to fill in the gaps all too often, and worst of all I lost the spark I once held for my beloved book series.The lesson to take from this: the book is always better. My English teachers said it; I said it before watching the movie, and I will continue to say it. My creativity and imagination while reading a well-written book will always be better than the movie, and if you’d like to disagree I suggest you stop being lazy and exercise something amazing that can never be taken away from you, your imagination!
The movie... it was okay. The novels... are epic!