by Annie C '18

The Hunger Games: Book vs. Movie

In case you don’t know already know, The Hunger Games is about Katniss Everdeen, a girl who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem. Panem is split into 12 districts and the Capitol. Katniss is from District 12, and volunteers to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games to save her sister.  The story is told from her point of view. It describes her relationships with other characters, her thoughts, and her surroundings, which is important in the constantly life-threatening Hunger Games arena.  The book was extremely captivating, and hard to put down.

The movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, told much the same tale as the books.  Jennifer portrays Katniss as the brave, and selfless soul she is, and Josh perfectly plays the part of the lovesick school boy staring from afar. The first installment of The Hunger Games film franchise had smaller budget than the sequel, Catching Fire.

Although both the book and movie tell the story well, the book was definitely better than the movie.  The movie left out some very significant parts of the book that some fans would say are crucial to the storyline.

A few characters were left out in the movie, such as Buttercup, the Everdeen’s cat. She and Katniss never got along, but Buttercup was a huge comfort to Prim.  This was meant to prove how much Katniss would do for Prim, as Buttercup meant another mouth to feed, and one that hissed at her at that, but Katniss put up with the feline. A reason the producers might have left her out of the movie is because either they could not afford to have a cat on sight, or just didn’t think a cat was important enough to make the cut.  Secondly, Madge, the mayor’s daughter was completely missing from the film.  Madge was probably the closest thing Katniss had to a friend besides Gale.  Perhaps they left her out to exaggerate Katniss’ dependence on Gale, or to define her as a more solitary character.  However, she seems important in the book, since she was the one who had given Katniss the Mockingjay pin.  Katniss did not actually get it from the Hob, though this is how it was depicted in the film.

In the movie, Peeta does not lose his leg and is not close to dying at the end of the games.  In the book, Peeta was scratched by the mutts and was dying due to the loss of blood from his leg.  Katniss made a tourniquet out of her shirt and her last arrow.  Cato, another competitor, was shoved into the crowd mutts but didn’t die immediately.  Eventually, Katniss used the arrow from the tourniquet to shoot Cato.  The infamous berry incident occurred, and Peeta was knocking on death’s door when the hovercraft finally came to save them.  Once on the craft, they also leave out the scene during which Katniss screams for Peeta while they operate on him, along with Katniss getting rehabilitated and Cinna explaining the reasoning for designing the dress he did.  This doesn’t affect the story much, except the dramatic effect.

The mutts (mutations breeded by the Capitol) in the arena are generic.  In the book, the dog-like creatures are made specifically to look like the dead tributes, so as to shake up Katniss, Peeta, and Cato.  Perhaps it was easier and saved money to not have to design 21 different dogs.  It didn’t really have an effect on the overall story, though.

Since the entire book was written in Katniss’ point of view, conversations that she was not privy to were not shared with the reader.  In the movie, you see discussions between President Snow and Head Gamemaker Seneca Crane about Katniss.  Also, you see the gamemaker and his assistants while the tributes are in the arena.  Near the end of the movie, you also see how Seneca Crane was killed for allowing Katniss and Peeta to both become victors.  Maybe a reason for this was to help guide people who didn’t read the books, or they wanted to make clear the intentions of the President Snow. Both had their disadvantages, but as always, the book shares more detail than the movie is able to.


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