The Hunger Games book VS movie: A fight to the death!

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I love the book.  I love the movie.  So sue me.

Not what you were expecting?  I know a lot of Hunger Games lovers will be up in arms with me for blatantly stating my love for both, as if it were some scandalous love triangle or something…Ahem. So many fans had major issues with the movie being different from the book (someone in the back clears their throat loudly. “You mean MAJOR differences!”).  Fine.  Major differences.  Some even hated the movie because of it.  These are 5 comments and questions they would probably ask people like me who actually loved the movie, and here are my answers:

What about all of the things they left out?

I noticed most of those things, but commenting about them to my friends was enough for me…as if it was off my shoulders and I could move on.  You’re never going to be able to include everything in a 2-2 ½ hour movie.

Why did they have to change so many things? 

I don’t claim to know the ins and outs of movie making, directing, and selling a hit movie.  I imagine some things were just changed or left out for better flow of the movie.  Sometimes things have to be cut (often leading to subsequent changes) for the sake of the movie as a whole.  Keep in mind, holding an audience’s attention and keeping the flow going is much different with a movie than a book.

How can they do the next movie?

I know that the rebellion in district 11 was full-blown way too early, so the question of what will happen when she tours to that district in book 2 is a legitimate question.  However, I imagine they will just make the peacekeepers quench the fire enough to barely appear “under control” with tons of tension that will explode again after she arrives.  It’s a movie.  They can make it work.

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You must not be a real fan of the books. 

Um…I dressed up as Katniss to the premiere and saw it again on Saturday. I have posters of Peeta and Gale in my classroom.  My ringtone and notification tone on my phone are from The Hunger Games.  And…I’ve talked about it in my classes enough that one of my students told me the other day, “Hey, I saw your movie this weekend.”

 Lastly, the biggest one of them all: But it’s just not as good as the book! 

Here’s the thing.  It never will be!  We really should know that by now and go into a movie like this with realistic expectations.  We can get as excited and pumped for these movies as we want to, but they can never come close to what we picture in our heads when we read an amazing book.  The description and wonderfully written imagery won’t be depicted the same.  Their thoughts can’t be portrayed.  Here’s the thing – The joy of reading is how the paintbrush of your imagination works in harmony with the unique colors of the author’s words in order to create a masterpiece that only you can see.  Movies are quite different.  The director, producers, etc. take their own paintbrushes and create their own version of the masterpiece.  We get to see their finished product.  Granted it’s not ours and, therefore, won’t be as good to us.  But, on the other hand, they add music, lighting, sound and visual effects, real people as the characters, and amazing, detailed visuals for the word pictures we get in the book (ex. The Capitol people!).

So…the moral of the story: Have realistic expectations and enjoy your books and movies as separate but equally awesome art forms.

Disclaimer: Please don’t be offended by my opinions.  You totally have the right to be upset about the movie.  I just don’t want to hear about it.  Haha!  Love you all!

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~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on April 9, 2012.

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