You have watched The Hunger Games movies and you feel like you know everything about this saga? let’s find out! in “The Hunger Games: Despite the movie” I will prove to you why you should read The Hunger Games even if you already watched the movie.
A small introduction
The Hunger Games is a trilogy, the first novel was published in 2008 by Suzanne Collins and it has sold around 100 million copies around the world. This story was so successful, that in 2012 Lionsgate Entertainment released the movie adaptation of the first novel. While the original series is a trilogy, the movie adaptation has four movies having the last novel, Mockingjay, adapted in two movies. A pretty common move I must say, as other sagas like Harry Potter or Twilight did. And let’s not forget about the Hobbit, three movies for adapting a single book of 95.356 words…
The movie adaptation was released starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss Evergreen and Peeta respectively. The last film, Mockingjay part 2, collected more than 100 million dollars during the first weekend of its premiere.
This plot takes place in Panem, a country governed by a cruel tyrant who annually organizes “The Hunger Games”. The purpose of this deadly entertainment is reminding isolated people from the districts that they cannot fight against the government. Every year 24 tributes from 12 different districts are selected to fight between them to death. 23 of them will die and only one will survive. That was the rule until one day, a girl named Katniss, by an act of love unconsciously planted the seed of hope in people and encouraged them to fight for their freedom.
Interesting fact: Panem was named by the Latin words “Panem et Circenses” which mean “Bread and Circus”. Smart uh?
How different are the films from the books?
First of all, I must tell you that from now on the article contains spoilers… Once warned, let´s start!
While both versions, the book, and the film, agree in the main story, there are some changes. Even so, I must admit that in this case, the movie adaptation is pretty decent. Of course, there are changes compared to the original source but nothing as the several inventive adaptations in Ready Player One movie (in case you missed it just click here) or the character changes and elisions in The Lord of The Rings movies ( here)
Why should I read The Hunger Games books?
The novels allow us to go deeper into the story of the 12th District. We learn more about the mining life and what it is to live surrounded by fences and with almost nothing of electricity. You even get to share the trauma of Katniss, Johanna, and Peeta, you feel their pain page after page. And, of course, feeling sorry for Peeta seeing how well he treats Katniss is inevitable… Also, the novel has the power to make you sympathize with the sad story of the Avox, that is, those punished for rebelling against the Capitol. All of this is told from Katniss perspective, which allows us to get more involved in her feeling and thoughts.
I will summarize some of the things that are different in the movies compared to the original source:
The Hunger Games
This might sound like a minor detail, but I think it shows really well how hard life is in District 12, and also says a lot about Katniss as a character: Prim’s cat, Buttercup, does not like Katniss because she tried to drown him because so her family didn’t have to feed the pet.
It was Madge, Katniss classmate, who gave her the Mockingjay Pin, so she can remind her home.
Katniss was unable to hear out of her left ear after the explosion she caused when she threw an arrow straight to the bag of apples that were in the supply pyramid.
When Cato falls into the ground where the Mutos were, he didn’t die instantly. He suffered until Katniss found him and killed him.
Peeta loses his leg and this is replaced by a new leg made of plastic and metal.
As you see lots of these things are too explicit, a reason why it makes sense they weren’t included in the movie adaptation.
This movie adaptation is the one that resembles more to the original source.
When Rhemus beat Gale with the whip, Darius, an Agent of Peace tried to protect him, but he was beaten so bad that he ended up unconscious. Later, this character became an Avox and suffered severe punishment for treason.
At the time Haymitch participated in the Games, four tributes were reaped from each district, meaning a total of 48 tributes instead of 24.
In this novel, Katniss accepts to be the Mockingjay so she can be the one who murders Cornelius Snow, the president of the Capitol. She also kills a woman without hesitating after Peeta went crazy and thought that he was going to become a Muto. She also never trains
Due to the death of the actor Philip Seymour, the scene where Plutarch and Haymitch meet with Katniss to inform her about her forgiveness for murdering Coin was omitted.
Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch wrote a Memory Book in honor of the people who gave their lives for the cause.
The film thrills and achieved a good adaptation, but the book creates a unique bond between the reader and the characters since the author allows you to know each of them intimately. You are able to feel what they feel and all from the perspective of a girl who had to become strong in spite of her fears and insecurities… A girl that became a symbol for a nation.
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