A book club that I recently started with a few high school friends had its first meeting on Sunday. We chose The Hunger Games as our first book and decided to grab lunch and then the matinee of the movie. I had read The Hunger Games months ago, so I wasn’t as fresh on the discussion, but that’s okay because we didn’t discuss the book so much as played catch up. This isn’t the point of the blog, so I digress.
My thoughts on the movie were that it was rushed. The emotional connection and character development were lacking. I was surprised by this, I guess because The Hunger Games is a short book. After some reflection, I realized that Suzanne Collins did an amazing job with fitting an intricate, well thought out plot and EXCELLENT character development into a small book. (People who know me know I am a stickler for character development.) The movie was long for a movie and they did the best they could. The acting was good for the most part. They set the scene pretty accurately.
BUT, I have a problem.
I am a story purist. I HATE HATE HATE when something I love so much is adapted into something that is not true to the “essence” of the story or characters or theme. What did The Hunger Games mess up in my mind? Peeta. They messed up Peeta in one scene, they messed him up and after that I couldn’t see him as the Peeta from the book. When they are on the way to the Capitol and he cries? He didn’t stand up to Haymitch pretty much at all? He allowed himself to be bullied by him? He didn’t reach for Katniss? He didn’t have that je ne sais quoi? Urgh.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Yes, I will see the rest of the movies. I may even go see this one in the theater again. Katniss was well cast and a natural beauty with almost the right demeanor. I recommend it to people who have read the books, but those who have not-that is not what the hype is about.