Greetings to all my returning and all my new subscribers!
Today I wanted to briefly look at how movies inspired by books compare to the books themselves. A bit of background on me, I can be nitpicky about my movies, but I consider myself a fair assessor of accuracy in most regards.
I was fortunate enough to catch The Hunger Games last weekend as I was coming back from a weekend trip. We were able to see it in EFX – Enhanced Movie Experience – not sure how much of a difference it made, but no matter. The theater was packed. Entirely. Good thing we got there a bit early! While waiting for the movie to start, I got a chance to see many, many previews. Nothing memorable (at this time), but I do remember that it took the movie nearly 20 minutes to start! argh!
Regardless, I was struck by the background and scenery done for the movie. It really fit perfectly in to the idea of Appalachia being the basis for District 13. Actually having been to many parts of Appalachia myself, I can attest to the authenticity of the depiction (if government and social services cared not at all for the populace) in the older, run down, and more rugged parts.
Setting? – Check
Characters – Did they match the characters invented by my imagination? That’s hard to say, but also not fair to judge. I think that every reader creates an image of what they are reading in their own minds, characters, setting, etc. Some people dislike seeing movies based on books because the characters in the movie won’t be their own (Or even having characters illustrated in their story! See the Illustration Conundrum post for that discussion)
I thought the actors/actresses playing the parts did an excellent job, and (Spoiler if you haven’t read the book) Rue’s character and subsequent death scene were very touching. I read the book a while ago, so that part stood out vividly to me because I hadn’t remembered it much from the book. Goes to show you how emphasis on certain parts can change the perception of the audience. (On a side note, there were tons of people insulted at the number of African Americans portrayed in the movie, which is not only ridiculous that some people still harbor these feelings, but also stupid because that’s exactly how Suzanne Collins described the characters in the book itself!)
I thought the director did a good job trying to bring life into the world and move the story along without eliminating too much of the story. That being said, I thought the first part of the movie dragged on…and on… and on. But it was still interesting to see the world of such a well loved book come to life. There were other movies that have done a worse job of transferring from book to movie (Read the actual ‘Man on Fire‘ book at some point. You’ll be really confused!)
Loved the movie, loved the books too. Would give it an 8/10 stars because of the slow pacing at points. Also, got to sit through an entire movie with a talkative two-year old in front of us. Not the movie’s fault, but just saying! Check it out, totally worth seeing!