Adaptable: THE HUNGER GAMES

by     Posted 3 years, 137 days ago

hunger-games-movie-image-jennifer-lawrence-ew-scan-slice-01

The process of adaptation is a difficult one.  Yes, the story framework is in place and there’s usually a built-in fanbase as well, but screenwriters must wrestle with what they can include, what they can excise, and what they can change.  A popular adaptation can’t alienate the fans but it also can’t exclude those unfamiliar with the source material.

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of young adult novels.  Lionsgate hopes they have the next Twilight on their hands even though the plots of the two books couldn’t be more different.  I’ll break down what works in the book, what will succeed in the movie, and where director Gary Ross will have difficulty in his adaptation.

hunger_games_book_cover_01Since I have to be specific about plot points in the book, consider this feature spoiler-filled.

The basic plot of The Hunger Games is this: A post-apocalyptic America has rebuilt itself into twelve districts who must serve The Capitol.  In order to punish the districts for their past rebellion and to remind them of their weakness, the Capitol holds an annual death match known as “The Hunger Games”.  Two “tributes”, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 17, are randomly selected from each district and forced to compete and the watching the games is mandatory.  The twenty four tributes fight to the death until only one remains.

Protagonist Katniss Everdeen (who is being played by Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence) is a 16-year-old hunter from the coal-mining District 12.  When her 12-year-old sister Prim is selected for the games, Katniss volunteers to take her place.  The male tribute is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a baker who’s the same age as Katniss.  The two are mentored by the last District 12 contestant to win, the drunken and surly Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrleson).  Their accompanied by District 12′s vapid chaperone Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and the supportive and talented stylists Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and Portia (Latarsha Rose).  Katniss and Peeta receive the pomp and circumstance preceding the games and try to build up their reputation as a star-crossed couple in order to win sponsors (who can provide gifts at key moments during the games) and the affections of the audience.  Then the games begin and things get bloody and the love story between the two leads gets complicated.

The Hunger Games is the anti-Twilight in that is has a strong female character at its center.  Katniss is smart, capable, aloof, compassionate towards her sister and best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and deadly.  If Bella Swan is always looking for a man to protect her, Katniss is slow to trust anyone and her relationship with Peeta takes some interesting twists and turns.  I imagine that those who initially complained about Lawrence’s casting never saw Winter’s Bone because Katniss is Ree Dolly recast as an action hero.

I also had no trouble seeing any other major cast member in their respective roles.  However, certain characters will likely have their roles beefed up for the movie.  Wes Bentley’s character, Head Gamemaker (the Gamemakers are like reality TV game show producers; they keep the action in the arena moving) Seneca Crane, doesn’t appear in the first novel but he does appear in the second book Catching Fire (which I haven’t read yet).  Also, President Snow barely appears in The Hunger Games, but then again, Donald Sutherland has become the actor who will be in your movie for five minutes.

hunger-games-movie-image-jennifer-lawrence-ew-scan-02The easiest cinematic equivalent to The Hunger Games is Kinji Fukasaku’s 2000 film Battle Royale, but there are two key differences between the properties.  Collins builds a world that borrows from George Orwell’s 1984 and she has no problem painting the world as excessively bleak and brutal.  The book is told from Katniss’ perspective and the descriptions of life in District 12, the ruthless power of The Capital, and the events of past Hunger Games is both affecting and horrific.  But whereas Battle Royale lets you know the characters inside the arena and makes their deaths hurt, Collins pulls her punches once the Hunger Games begin.  There are some moments of brutality, gore, and Katniss’ struggle for survival, especially at the outset, is intense.  But when it comes to the killing of kids, Collins keeps most of the other tributes nameless, makes the death of the young female District 11 tribute Rue as predictable and maudlin as possible, and barely has Katniss or Peeta kill anyone.  You can argue that she softens up the novel for young adults (i.e. 10 to 13 year olds), but Collins has no problem with ugliness in other parts of the book.

Gary Ross’ adaptation will be PG-13 so elements like Katniss pulling a quiver of arrows through a girl’s ribcage and the rest of the bloodier moments will be reduced, happen off-screen, get excised, or be changed.  Lionsgate has thrown out that this will be a “hard PG-13″, so you can assume that the violence will be on the level of The Dark Knight at most.

It’s an interesting book because I felt that a more faithful adaptation could have been made in the 60s or 70s.  That’s impossible since the book came out in 2008, but the imagery fits perfectly with films from 40 – 50 years ago.  For example, interviewer Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) is first seen with blue-hair, blue eye-shadow, and blue lipstick.  The Capitol citizens’ wear garish outfits, Effie sports a pink wig, and at one point Katniss gets stung by genetically modified wasps and essentially has a bad acid trip.  The reason I make this distinction is because what 60s and 70s audiences may have accepted, present-day moviegoers may think it’s all a little much.

But toning down the violence and tweaking the costumes isn’t a big deal.  While they do help color the world, they’re not essential to the plot.  A larger question is can a director like Ross introduce the brutality and bleakness required of the story.  His specialty up to this point has been feel-good pictures like Pleasantville and Seabiscuit and The Hunger Games doesn’t live anywhere close to those two movies.  That’s not to say he isn’t capable of doing a strong adaptation, but it will most likely be completely unlike anything we’ve seen from him before.

hunger-games-movie-image-jennifer-lawrence-ew-scan-01The biggest challenge is the romance between Katniss and Peeta.  The two tributes know they have to put on a show of romance for the viewers and sponsors, but Katniss’ internal monologue lets us know that she’s actually starting to fall for Peeta.  But because this is a movie, how will Ross make the distinction between Katniss playing towards the TV cameras and playing towards the real camera?  My first thought is to cut between a “TV feed” when she’s faking and the actual movie when she’s being authentic, but that approach may be a little too obvious and distracting.

The Hunger Games is far from a perfect novel.  Aside from the issue of pulling punches, the writing is unimpressive, Katniss’ bleak descriptions and outlook becomes redundant, and then there are the zombie wolves.   It’s an idea that’s good in concept: the dead tributes are resurrected, their minds reduced to feral rage, and placed inside the bodies of mutated wolves to finish off the three remaining tributes.  It’s an idea that perfectly encapsulates the cruelty of the Gamemakers and the Capitol.  But the execution is abysmal.  The wolf zombies are called, I shit you not, “Muttations”.  Even dumber, the giant wolves run on their hind legs, and somehow that makes them faster.  Imagine a dog or a wolf walking on its hind legs.  Now imagine it moving really fast.  That will look ridiculous on film and I hope they’ll modify the design to something more terrifying and cinematic.

Despite some of the shortcomings of the novel, it’s certainly a page turner.  A few days ago I thought I would read a chapter or two before I dug into it on the long plane ride I have ahead of me.  Instead, I’ll be reading Catching Fire on the plane because I devoured The Hunger Games.  Collins paints an interesting world and it’s seen from the perspective of a compelling lead character that has been perfectly cast.  I’m not sure if Ross is the right director for the book and I’m not sure how much leniency he’ll have with the violence, but the elements are all in place for an exciting film.

The Hunger Games opens March 23, 2012.




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  • Jane

    Great article. More interesting will be to see how they deal with the violence in the 2nd and 3rd movies. Because if you think the violence in book one is even the least bit horrifying, the level of violence — and how it’s carried out/depicted — in next two books will astound you.

    • maryploppins

      Dude SO agree with you. I don’t know how they can depict the violence in book 3 at a PG-13 level without ruining the entire thing. It makes me nervous … I hope they don’t screw this up.

  • Desert Rat

    ^ What Jane said.

    Seriously, the violence and insanity just go six ways bananas by the third book, Mockingjay. I really wanna know how they plan on getting books 2 and 3 as a PG-13. I just dont see it.

  • jacko

    The book was all over the place. Maybe it’s because Collins choose to write in the first person, but you don’t actually get a feel for the world at all. For instance, you never really understand how much technology the Capitol has. Hell, she doesn’t even explain how those “cameras” work during the Games. She just mentions “cameras” and that’s it. So where are they? In the trees? The grass? Hovering? Invisible? What? Collins’ futuristic world is incredibly muddled. I just don’t think she had a very good handle on it. Maybe that’s further explored in the two sequels, but man, that book really was uber short on details. Try reading “Old Man’s War” for a comparison. That’s like reading a future as written by someone who LIVED in it as oppose to someone who sorta heard stories about it (Collins’ version). But I guess that’s why it’s a young adult novel. Kids don’t have the attention span for details anyway, they just want to listen to their girl heroine talk about love and falling for the boy, etc etc.

    • mitch

      I must say, a lot of kids have the attention span to read Adult books and do read Adult books. I think Collins chose to not reveal how the cameras work because well, Katniss didn’t know, and to make the Capitol seem ever more impressive because they can have cameras like that and technology we don’t even know about. She gives a lot of details on things important to Katniss, because that’s what Katniss would care about describing. So I think she didn’t leave out details because she wasn’t competent enough to put them in, but she deliberately chose what to leave out to evoke certain reactions.

  • Harper

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that Collins “pulls punches” when it comes to killing off the kids. A lot of them die in pretty explicitly horrific ways. Sure, most of them are nameless and personalitiless, but it would take a long time to explain the life stories of 24 kids, and that’s just not what the book is about. Besides, I think Katniss keeps them nameless because it makes them a lot easier to kill.
    And you may not have liked Rue’s death, but it certainly made me cry enough.
    And of course Peeta doesn’t purposely kill anyone, it’s part of his character. Part of the point of the Hunger Games is that the Reaping is so random, any kid could end up in the games, including kids who totally don’t belong there, like Peeta. Think about it: there are 24 kids in the arena, most of whom are willing to kill to stay alive. The tributes with softer natures, like Peeta and Rue, can sit back and let everyone else kill each other off for a while. If you don’t like that Peeta doesn’t kill anyone, you must just not like his character – and if you want to nitpick about his character, talk about the fact that he’s in love with Katniss since childhood despite not really knowing her and cares more about her life than his own. Barf.
    As for Katniss, she does her fair share of the killing. She drops the tracker jacker nest that kills Glimmer and District 4 boy, she shoots Marvel in the throat, and she shoots Cato in the head. That’s 4 out of 23 other tributes – just how much more do you want? Also, a large number always die at the Cornucopia, and Katniss is specifically instructed by Haymitch not to take part in that. That’s not her being too good to kill, that’s her being strategic.
    All that aside, thank you for pointing out that HG is the anti-Twilight. So true.

    • Derek

      1.I agree with Harper completely.

      2.I just wonder why people feel the need to say something isn’t perfect. I mean what book is perfect? Every book has flaws, because they are written by flawed people.

      3.I understand that some people don’t like first person narratives, but I like Katniss, she has a strong simple voice that guys or girls can identify with. I think her voice really sets the unique tone for the series.

      Great article. Can not wait for the film!

    • Jymmy Scheibli aka jymmymack

      I think Matt is alluding to the fact that Katniss never has to kill anyone in cold blood. She’s always being attacked or tracked and fights out of self-defense. It’s a valid point, one I kept coming back to throughout the novel. Now if Collins had set up an actual event in which Katniss was in a position to kill another tribute in cold blood and refused (besides Peeta and Rue) then we could right it off as Katniss’s character. As it stands, Katniss never has to face a dilemma like that. When she kills it’s always a ruthless coldhearted villain. Also, in Battle Royale, all the students have grown up with each other, which makes the deaths much more creepy and heavy.

      • Renee

        Just wait until Mockingjay. I agree that THG isn’t the most well-written book I’ve ever read, but Katniss’s character does evolve throughout the books in my opinion. Whether it’s for better or for worse is up for debate, but she definitely changes in Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

      • Jymmy Scheibli aka jymmymack

        That’s true, but we’re talking about book 1, not book 3. Everyone keeps bringing up the later books, but Matt is simply talking about the first.

      • Derek

        Katniss does have the chance to kill in cold blood, but she is a normal 16 year old girl not a murderer! She hides, survives and only kills when she has to, because that is what a sane person would do in this situation. She tries to survive without becoming a monster.

      • Dudu

        Yes, so true. I also think that this is a regrettable part of Collin’s YA book. If only she wrote this for the adult audience. Cuz how realistic is that, that if she’s put into a war-like situation Katniss still never ends up having to kill anyone out of cold blood? The last showdown with what’s-his-face who ultimately died from being attacked by the Muttations could’ve been so much more dramatic and darker. If Katniss had to make the decision to kill him to save herself and Peeta it would’ve posed such a nice psychological question regarding nature of humanity and whatnot. Instead the guy conveniently gets mauled by some beasts and THEN Katniss kills him out of compassion.

        Still, I’m excited for this movie anyway. I just hope the movie will be darker. “Hard PG-13″ better mean it’ll be as twisted and bleak as the Dark Knight. lol.

      • Myra

        Maybe Katniss doesn’t kill in cold blood until later in the series but she isn’t exactly conflicted by the fact she is killing other kids.

        “I’m not afraid, not even watchful. Which makes me an easy target. Except I’d kill anyone I met on sight. Withouth emotion or the slighest tremor in my hands. My hatred of the capitol has not lessened my hatred of my competitors in the least. Especially the careers. They at least can be made to pay for Rue’s death” Page 238

    • jenna

      I agree! I don’t see how she went easy on the kids by not giving their names. If anything that made it even more evil because you’re killing someone you dont even know. And Rue’s death made me cry too! She was sweet and clever and surprisingly strong for her sise. And I really didn’t like the part where they were talking about how Peeta always loved her and remembered what she wore wen she was five on a specific day in a specific grade- that was just wierd and annoying!

    • Paris

      I couldn’t agree more with the opinion you stated!

  • Old Soldier

    This movie is from Lion’s Gate? I’m dreading it already.

  • Dim

    I feel like I’m crazy because I did not think there was A LOT of violence in any of the books. I don’t know, maybe I just see the world today as more violent than in The Hunger Games world, but I thought that the violence in all the books could be adapted easily into a PG or PG-13 rating. Yep, I’m probably nuts. I don’t like fighting and I’m a pretty peaceful person, but I don’t know, I thought the books had enough violence to captivate nearly everyone. I don’t see how everyone’s having such a hard to time imagining the violence and level of it, but maybe that’s just me. I hope the movie(s) don’t let us down!

    • Sam S.

      @Dim – I think the harshness of the violence comes from the fact that its little kids often committing and receiving the acts of violence. There are definitely more violent books and films out there, but the nature of the violence here is a little more unique.

      • Dewsterling

        Children are violent. Anyone who thinks they aren’t hasn’t spent much time around kids. They’re unsocialized humans operating almost entirely on emotion with little impulse control. A 2- or 3-year old could kill an infant. Bigger, stronger children frequently pick on smaller, slower children in expressly harmful ways. They are extremely Darwinian in their efforts to self-regulate in groups. Adults try to shield children from violence because they’re more likely to emulate that kind of behavior – not because they want to protect children’s delicate sensibilities.

        I liked the books. They’re written for young adults/teens, which is about where more adults seem to be stunted these days. If parents gave a darn about what their kids are reading, much less the quality, they might recall that Moby Dick, 1984, and Farenhite 451 are for that same age group.

      • Myra

        @Dewsterling I agree. I work with children and they tend to rule themselves with the survival of the stronger laws. And we should take a look the videogames, movies, internet sites and tv shows children like, they seem to have a pull for gory things. The hunger games books are nothing in comparision.

    • Liz

      @DIM, I never thought the violence was described as “R rated” either. It is YA fiction after all, and although Suzanne described the deaths of the tributes, she didn’t go in to great detail about the gory aspects. I agree with Sam, the violence feels heavier than it is because it’s being done by children. Suzanne never described the Games like a Quentin Tarantino movie.

  • Sam S.

    Excellent article. I have a lot of the same issues with the book as you do, especially the Muttations. I think I re-read the description when they first appeared in the book about 3 times before I settled on what they looked like. But like you said, its a complete page turner and worth the short amount of time it takes to read. Especially because it’ll be inescapable for the next 5 years or so.

  • Scott

    @Jane – Good point with the violence in the 2nd and 3rd book. Even though Katniss is not killing a lot of individuals in the second book you do see the other individuals donig the killing right infront of Katniss (some kills were sort of gruesome). So it will be interesting how the handle that.

    @Harper – Peeta does kill someone. Its during the very first night of the games while Katniss is hiding in the tree’s. The career’s start looking for the girl that built the fire and Peeta finish’s her off when they realize a cannon hasn’t gone off for her.

    @Matt – Very good article with very valid points. The point about how Katniss acts towards Peeta for the cameras and what she actually thinks and feels about him is a good example of why books are always better then movies. She never says outloud what her real thoughts are of Peeta, they are always thoughts in her head which brings up your question about how they will show this on film.

    Also, Matt the part where you talked about Seneca Crane, you may have wanted to read the second book before making that comment about him. Just saying.

    • Gloria

      Peeta was technically responsible for Foxface’s death also.

      • Scott

        Good point, I didn’t consider that a kill for Peeta because it was an accident and he didn’t mean to do it, but either way its still a kill.

    • Bridget

      I don’t know why, but I never believed that Peeta did kill the girl to started the fire…I always figured he’d held her hand or comforted her or something, because I didn’t think he had it in him to kill in that situation Unless he killed her to relieve her from her pain…I don’t know. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with that scene in the film (if they don’t cut it).

    • Harper

      Peeta accidentally kills Foxface, which is why I said he never PURPOSELY kills anyone. When that happens, Katniss specifically mentions that it’s really upsetting for him because it’s his first kill. I was always confused about what happened with Peeta that girl who lit the fire, and would like to know what he actually did, but apparently he didn’t really kill her if Foxface was his first one.

  • Dewsterling

    Adaptation is difficult because few writers/directors/producers/editors are able to differentiate between components of the original piece that are essential and those that are not. Chris Columbus spent fully 4 minutes of screen time on the letter from Hogwarts. He slowly dragged the camera across the Nimbus2000 and practically caressed the platform 9 3/4 and train signage as if viewers couldn’t make the connections themselves. It’s distracting filmmaking.

    So what is more important? Creating the tone of the books or slavishly masturbating each and every bit of minutiae and skipping the real story? Katniss has lived a hard, cold life and is willing to do whatever it takes to save her sister, to save herself, to save Peeta. The violence is ancillary and far more effective when it’s suggested than explicit.

  • Cindy

    All I have to say is that it is very clear you haven’t read all of the books. Seneca Crane is never seen in any of the books though he will definitely be needed in the first movie adaptation. Also, the extravagant and costumed lives of the capital is essential to the way the third novel plays out.
    I also don’t understand where you got the age range of 10-13? This may not be as gory as it could be, but the ideas of the cruelty of the dystopian society is far too mature for 10 year olds to understand. This series is more for teenagers around 14-17, though I know many adults that have also enjoyed the series. Suzanne Collins wrote another series, the Gregor the Overlander series that touches on some of these ideas for a younger audience.
    The main point of my comment was to make it clear that it is important to read the whole series, many of the seemingly useless parts come back and are further explained in second and third novels. It actually helps to reread the first book after you finish the series, and many details are picked up.

  • Lisa

    Gary Ross is NOT the right Director for this film. His casting choices are terrible but somehow neither of these will be a problem. Look at how well done Twilight is and that film has a horrible cast and started off with a terrible choice for Directors, even the screenplay was atrocious. It still wins all the MTV awards and brings millions, that’s what’s most important, right?

    I am an enormous fan of both books. I read the Twilight books every couple of weeks just because and I love THG but when I read both books I do not see whom they have cast. When I read the Harry potter books I see Dan, Emma and Rupert as the trio, that makes a difference, even with Steve Kloves as screenwriter (a man who shouldn’t be allowed near an adaptation!).

    Of course they will cut out any gore, they will wimp it down and change key dialogue. It will be light and bright instead of dark and depressing.

    When all the stories have to try to convince it’s fans what they are doing is right then you know you have a problem.

    • Kate

      Gary Ross is NOT the right Director for this film. His casting choices are terrible but somehow neither of these will be a problem. Look at how well done Twilight is and that film has a horrible cast and started off with a terrible choice for Directors, even the screenplay was atrocious. It still wins all the MTV awards and brings millions, that’s what’s most important, right?
      Firstly, Gary Ross doesn’t pick the cast. He certainly has a hand in it, but the casting director(s) mainly pick them. Also, Suzanne Collins had a HUGE part in the casting. And have you seen Jennifer Lawrence with her new hair and costume? She defines Katniss. Ross also said that he knew that people were a bit upset about her casting but he went on to say that Lawrence has the power and feeling of Katniss. Sometimes the looks don’t matter, but the acting does. Though, I have to admit, I am not happy with Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. Though, Lawrence said that he’s really charming and kind, and isn’t that what Peeta’s like?
      Also, the Twilight movie sucked.

      • Myra

        @Lisa @kate

        I agree that Gary Ross is not the right director for the film even though his previous works Pleasantville and seabiscuit are good movies. He’s not a bad director but the cast he chose proves that he took a lot of liberties in his interpratation of the book and that he was very bent to have actors with oscar nominations or involved with oscar nominated projects whether they matched the book descriptions or not.

        I don’t like to picture Hollywood celebrities when reading my books. I don’t think of robert pattison as edward nor nicki reed as rosalie, nor peter fachineli as carlisle when reading twilight. Obviously with the cast they chose for the hungergames who are so far of what the book describes I don’t have to make any effort to take them out of my mind when reading the books. Even in the EW photoshopped pics of Jlaw in katniss clothes she doesn’t look like katniss. And you should see the filming pictures in the social life site. Katniss peeta and gale look nothing like the book describes them even while filming the reaping scenes.

        Gary ross has the final say of the casting process even more than Suzanne and even more than debra zane the casting director. In general a casting director presents a variety of actors to the director and executive producers according to the specifications of a role. but Casting directors don’t have the final say .

        For a movie like the hungergames looks matter because the way a character looks determine if they are seam people , merchant class, well fed districts, starving districts or if they are capitol citizens. It also makes remarkable that katniss mom being from merchant class married a seam worker and that cinna being a capitol resident look and acted so different than the rest of the capitol people.
        Spoiler ALERT
        Peeta is way much more than a charming guy (and of course jlaw would say that josh is charming but I don’t see his charm at all). Peeta throws away very heavy flour packs, came second only to his brother in the school wrestling competition, excels in hand to hand combat, is (cato’s words) “handy with a knife” even though he is not as big as the careers he is deadly enough that these guys who trained their entire lives to be part of the games consider him a good add to the pack. He survived cato’s attack to protect katniss, even though peeta was outnumbered, not even thresh survived cato’s attack. He can carry katniss upstairs very easily, killed brutus (another career) and throw away mitchell with just his feet a considerable distance. Does Josh look like he can do any of that?

  • Jordan W.

    They also have a terrific cinematographer who has worked with Clint Eastwood on several occasions, including “Letters from Iwo Jima” and “The Changeling.” At least that aspect of the film is in superb hands. We shall see!

  • Alexis

    What they did to Twilight was absolutely, disgustingly atrocious. I’m fairly certain anyone here can agree, be it fans from the start, or those who just watched all the movies.
    The Hunger Games is going to turn out the exact same way. They’ll rewrite it to appeal to the teeny boppers who watched all the Twilight movies and spend ridiculous amounts of their parent’s money on cheaply made Edward merch. Disregarding the book and all who hold it dear. That’s what it’s all about, because if the bops like it, that’s money right there.
    Time to jump ship, folks. Because the bops are gonna make us feel embarrassed for even reading the series.

    • Jennifer

      I never realized how true that statement was. They will make us embarassed.

  • Gab

    “vapid chaperone?” Have you READ the books? Effie’s over-the-top enthusiastic, and colorfully Capitol.

  • Alexis

    Oh, and same thing goes for the Mortal Instruments series, although I don’t particularly care for that as much as the Hunger Games.

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  • Lia

    i am 29 and i love these books. i am excited for the movie to come out but also anticipating something a little scaled down for the younger kids. i wish it wasn’t like that but i get it. i am hoping that the fact that suzanne collins is helping write the screenplays helps out. i love the twilight books but i think they were destroyed making the movies. i actually like the cast of the hunger games as opposed to twilight and i think anyone that has an issue with the casting might need to wait to see the movie to judge. everything i heard about the characters being to old and stuff will not matter in the movie. you can’t have 12-15 year olds playing characters that need more mature actors to capture the horror of what the kids in the books are going through. i am concerned however about the mutant things in the books and hopefully they wont be too cheesy and computerized looking.

  • Kassie

    The mutts never stood on their hind legs, they may have gotten like that when they jumped, but they never ran on their hind legs trust me I have read the book (not joking) 10 times!

    • Gloria

      Haha very true they never stood on their hind legs, Collider I think you have your reading screwed up!

    • Liz

      Good point. The only that I recall them standing on their hind legs was in an attempt to jump up on the Cornucopia. My dog stands on his hind legs for a treat. Not so unnatural.

      • jenna

        True because if they stood on their hind leggs then Katniss and the already injured Peeta wouldn’t stand a chance! Especially with the one modeled after Thresh!

    • Jymmy Scheibli aka jymmymack

      Direct quote from book: “…what wolf lands and then balances easily on its hind legs? What wolf waves the rest of its pack forward with its front paw as if it has a wrist?” This is immediately after they jump from the woods, not when they are at the cornicopia.

      • Paige

        You’re right, they do stand on their hind legs but even dogs can do that. It does say they balance, but the author of the article is wrong when he says that they run on their hind legs. They apparently run like wolves to the cornucopia because it says later that, “As they join together, they raise up again to stand easily on their back legs giving them an eerily human quality.” It wouldn’t make sense for them to “raise up again” if they ran on their hind legs. It just to make them more creepy, which is the point.

      • Jymmy Scheibli aka jymmymack

        I never claimed that they ran that way, I was just correcting those who were trying to say they never stood on their legs. And a dog has to hop to stay on its legs. It can’t rise up and wave its arm forward like a Roman general signaling the troops. I like the book, but it’s a ridiculously campy, over-the-top moment when things are supposed to be getting nitty gritty.

      • Paige

        I think we both misunderstood each other haha. I was correcting the author, I didn’t mean to imply that I was correcting you on that point. You’re right, it was a little ridiculous, I kept thinking that when I was reading it. It was freaky to think of these things but parts were very over the top when it came to those mutts. The others were all better, IMO.

  • Rebecca

    One of the things that always surprises me about the criticism of the book is how it almost never takes into account the fact that what’s left out is by choice. The entire thing happens from Katniss’s POV. So when people assume Peeta is just a barfy, lovesick boy? It’s because that’s what Katniss sees. When she doesn’t explain how the cameras work it’s because she probably doesn’t entirely know. The implication is that there are cameras everywhere and the whole thing is wired for sound.

    The reader misses so much because Katniss isn’t in touch with her own emotions–she’s a blunt tool that operates entirely on instinct–and this is especially true in the third book. I think these books are a brilliant use of the first-person limited POV. I could write my PhD on it! Anyway, one of the things that could be so great about a film adaptation is that (since Collins herself is involved) we could be privy to the moments that Katniss misses that are directly under her nose–things that seem somewhat obvious when you get outside of Katniss’s head.

    As for Peeta? I honestly think that Peeta makes a complicated call. He knows she has a better chance of winning than he does. Even his own mother tells him that. (Don’t even get me started on how fascinating that abusive mom is and how that impacts Peeta’s actions). And he knows it will be good for their entire community if Katniss wins. He makes a choice to help her for what is likely a variety of reasons: He has always loved her from afar, his entire community will benefit is one of them wins, he specifically tells Katniss he wants to die honorably and in a way that would make him something other than a pawn in the Capitol’s games.

    Just because Katniss doesn’t figure those things out doesn’t mean careful readers can’t. And that’s the kind of things I’d like to be made more obvious in the movies.

  • Spidey

    Katniss never kills anyone in cold blood?? What about in the third book when they break into a house and she shoots a lady, not even giving a crap who she is, if she has a family, anything. A completly innocent lady. Hows that in cold blood?

    • Jymmy Scheibli aka jymmymack

      Well, you said it best. That’s the THIRD BOOK. We’re talking about the first and the nature of the games themselves.

  • AREM

    The writing is unimpressive?? Are you serious?

  • Jenna

    I love the series to death- hahaha. I am not complaining about any of the cast because i feel that we need to give them a chance, I was so excited wen i saw who was playing Katniss and supeeeerrrrrrr excited wen i saw that liam hemsworth was playing Gale-YES! Also I thought Katniss technically was responsible for 4 deaths in the arena, do the math and that’s 1/6 of the total kills. And Peeta made a mercy kill but they dont go into depth with that in the book. I hope they show that in the movie…….anyway I cant wait till the third movie comes out, Does anyone else feel that there’s no way getting around making it rated R? I mean the Capitol scene was so horific…….but it was cool. Any way no complaints from me yet! Oh except that they’re not using Madge, like what!?

  • Scott

    I know this is a little off the topic of what everyone is talking about, but I wanted to get this off my chest. I know it wasn’t in the book and I don’t think it will be (and shouldn’t be) in the movie, but what I would love to see, or know, is how Thresh dies.

    If it wasn’t from natual causes in the arena the only individual that could have killed him was Cato (Cato running towards Katniss at the end with armor on makes me believe he killed Thresh and got his package back). With the pouring down rain and the thunderstorms in the backround it could have been epic fight scene as long as Cato didn’t just sneak up and kill him.

    Anyways just throwing my thoughts out there. Just kindof wish someone outside of the Arena told Katniss and Peeta how he did.

    • Derek

      I was totally thinking the same about Thresh and Cato. I keep thinking they must have had an epic battle while the thunder storm raged around them. It would be cool for the movie.

  • Cece

    I can’t wait to see all Gary Ross does with the film! I hope it turns our really good! And about Susan Collins, I thought the book was well written! I think everything in a book doesn’t need to be explained fully and given to the readers. Sometimes it’s better because it gets people’s imaginations going. Also about the mutts, I think I would be scared of them, if you think about they sound pretty cool. Think harry potter 3. Prisoner of askaban when Lupin turns into a werewolf, he’s on his hind legs, and looks scary enough. They’re basically werewolves, only Katniss wouldn’t know what a werewolf is so she had to describe it.

  • Natalie

    Just to let you know, the mutts weren’t actually the dead tributes, they were engineered that way to make them that much more terrifying for the tributes. Collins does make this distinction in The Hunger Games, but I believe it’s not said explicitly until Catching Fire.
    I also think Ross and Collins might have made it so that Katniss has a running monologue throughout the movie the way she does in the book, I don’t see how they’re going to have the almost-fake romance work otherwise.

  • Wladi

    hunger games = Battle Royale rip off…

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266308/

    • Rebecca

      It’s not a Hunger Games discussion until a tedious rando on the Internet makes sure we mention Battle Royale. Because nobody ever have variations on a plot theme before! Ever! In the history of storytelling. So bored by this straw argument.

      • Wladi

        hunger games = Battle Royale rip off…

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266308/

      • Aromcath

        I’m a huge Battle Royale fan, aside from a market blurb, both The Hunger Games and Battle Royale do their own thing both thematically and narrative.

        Battle Royale is a tragic horror story at its roots. Placing the reader amongst known friends and known enemies and then dumping everyone into the blender. It’s written to draw out the creeping sense of dread and startling sense of atmosphere, through the first couple of hundred pages, its nothing short of of intense, in that you as the reader can’t tell who’s your safe hero as just about anyone at that point is up for death.

        The Hunger Games is for lack of a better term a more story story, its about bringing a hero through the trenches and back out the other end, for better or worse off mind you. Furthermore there’s that classic story tier based structure of act after act until it reaches its third turn and resolves.

        Admittedly I’d like to see more attention and to some extent credit pushed Battle Royales direction, but the two narratives don’t share all that much alike.

    • Mattfilm

      No it’s not different. Collins saw Battle Royale, thought it was cool, so made an americanized version. BR is a far superior IP in creativity and intelligence. It’s a shame that such a hack gets more acclaim. If you say that she’s not stealing from Battle Royale, then you could just as easily say that she’s stealing from THE RUNNING MAN. Better yet, Hunger Games is exactly Battle Royale + Running Man + 1984 + The Lottery (short story) in one. Albeit 4 amazing IPs, but when you truly strip those obvious influences that went into her writing, and judge it for what she actually brings to the table, and all you get is a female protagonist that is only interesting because of the world she has been placed in. Stop stealing, and be creative! The only thing she added at all was the stupid concept of Mutt-tations. Book would have been better without it. Beyond that, I (or any decent reader for that matter) could give an exact literary or film usage for every single “creative” story element she included. If you can’t, watch/read all 4 of those IPs, and go ahead and say she didn’t steal. She’s an insult to all creative writers.

      • aromcath

        The funny thing is, the only thing I haven’t read out of all those stories is in fact The Hunger Games. Even just going of the wiki page and some simple Google research, their different stories.

        Coming at this from the one sided point of view, side by side the two only share a basic blurb. The kid’s getting pushed into the blender until there’s only that one left.

        I can’t say its direct plagiarism. Collins may have read it or seen it, but what resulted was not a copycat, but a reinvention of a theme that has been visited again and again. Takami’s book and the resulting film are only two such visits to a place where humans are pitted against humans in a fight ‘till the death. Lord of the Flies by William Golding 1954 or ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ by Richard Connell 1924. Both of which were long before Takami penned Battle Royale, and again Takami didn’t plagiarism either of those stories. By that argument I have to extend the same green light to Collins when it comes to her book v. Battle Royale.

        Both occur in a dystopic future, but The Hunger Games is a imagination of after the fall of the US and a more serf v lordship atmosphere. Where Battle Royale is certainly an extreme extension of Big Brother circa Orwell 1984

        Both are about a no-holds barred tournament of death. Both tournaments are run by governments and involve youth as players who are forced to kill each other until one survivor remains. However the Hunger Games is truly a blood sport, its about the entertainment and reaction of its audience. Battle Royale lives more in the dirty, horror of doing something you have to do, and you don’t want to do it. Its not blood sport so much as natural selection pushed to the extreme. Furthermore, the game isn’t publicized. People know about them, they whisper to one another about them, but they never see them and they never even want to see any of it.

        Someone rebelled and is being punished for it, in BATTLE ROYALE, the students boycotted school; which again is a much or Orwell look at things as Big Brother cock slaps people back in line. With THE HUNGER GAMES, the districts rebelled against the government and were sanctioned. Which is much more multi-national politico based story telling. You see more influences from historical imperialism then Orwell.

        In BATTLE ROYALE, the characters are 15; Katniss, the heroine of THE HUNGER GAMES, is 16. Which to be fair… is circumstantial. Furthermore given the Hunger Games is a YA novel… that’s kind of the target audience so you can’t hold that against Collins.

        Both stories feature a lottery as a means of choosing players. But the specifics differ, Battle Royale features one class of some forty students, people who’ve known each other and made relationships with one another, for better or worse. The Hunger Games is much more of a draft like process, it’s two people per district and basically no one knows one another.

        *BATTLE ROYALE’s Kitano-sensei, the teacher who orchestrates the tournament, tells the student players at one point that “Life is a game.” .. again this is pretty circumstantial. Furthermore going off the book ,because even as a Battle Royale fan the angle the film played with the teacher got really stupid, he’s a sadistic power head, he’s playing with the kids heads as evidence by making each kid wright out in paper, “I will kill everyone.”

        *Both stories feature the use of “backpacks” which are given to the players. In both stories, the backpacks have been filled with random weapons. In other words, the players never know what they have until they open the backpack. However this is maguffin territory anyway, for example why does Kawade immediately get a shotgun, why does Kiriyama immediately get an automatic weapon… in the end the plot needed it these things to happen.

        *Again it’s worth mentioning the Battle Royale games are nearly unspoken of. People whisper about them, they talk about how sorry they feel for the kids but no one raises a voice, no one looks for a peek inside the game. In THE HUNGER GAMES it’s the extravagant televised broadcast of the game. Cheering, gifting, betting etc.

        *Both stories feature pairings of an older, stronger youth protecting a younger one, in BATTLE ROYALE, Kawada helps protect Noriko and Shuya; But he does this more are a fuck you to authority. He want’s to go back to throw a wrench in the whole machine. In THE HUNGER GAMES, Katniss helps protect Rue. It could also be argued that Kawada’s character influenced Haymitch Abernathy’s character in THE HUNGER GAMES because both characters act as guides for the main characters, but that not so much plagiarism as sharing the mentor trope. Incidentally the fact that both Kawada and Haymitch are survivors of previous tournaments doesn’t mean anything as again, Kawada is back for sport or fame so much as giving the man the finger.

        *As the games progress, both stories feature means by which players are informed of the current death toll by public address system in BATTLE ROYALE; by holograms in THE HUNGER GAMES. This spells out circumstantial similarities, I suppose the fact both are written in books means one ripped off the other directly.

        *To raise the stakes for the players, there are “Danger Zones” in BATTLE ROYALE and manipulated environments in THE HUNGER GAMES. But again this is just raising the stakes, its really hard to hold this against Collins given any writer does the same thing by introducing more dangerous characters, wounder your hero or what not.

        *One of the initial death matches in BATTLE ROYALE features a crossbow. If this inspired Katniss’ use of a bow and arrow set in THE HUNGER GAMES, its not exactly strong evidence, but I will say its hard to defend this one. I will however credit it to circumstantial given how The Hunger Games plays on naturalistic survival surviving anf hunting etc.

        *In both BATTLE ROYALE and THE HUNGER GAMES, the surviving couples rebel against the government. However the former aren’t so much rebelling as getting the hell out of Dodge, Nanahara and Nakagawa have more of the motivation to disappear then bring down Big Brother. Kawada was the one wanting to bring the hammer down on authority.

        You could go one endlessly finding every little thing but you’d run into circumstantial, or that they go in different directions. As a Battle Royale fan, this stories are far to different to call one a rip off.

      • Sara

        She’s said that she pulled the idea from greek mythology.

        No story is totally original. Twilight isn’t a rip off of Dracula or Interview with a Vampire or The Sookie Sackhouse Novels. They just use similar creatures and the mythology surrounding them.

        Stories quite frequently share common origins, just because there is a love triangle or a fight to the death doesn’t mean that it’s a rip off.

  • Lyssie Carter

    I think it would be a crime to decolor the capitol like you’re suggesting. One of the things that’s so fascinating about Hunger Games is that Collins creates a dark twisted utopia that’s dark and twisted in a way that’s never been done before. The crazy costumes and colors are all extensions of the crazy fashion choices we make now and they provide a great contrast for the grittiness of the districts. Panem would lose it’s messed up originality if we just went ahead and mudblasted all the color away.

    • Mattfilm

      HAHAHA! never been done before? Please go read/watch Running Man, The Lottery, Battle Royale, Soylent Green, Logan’s Run, Fahrenheit 451, or the greatest example of a dark twisted dystopia – 1984.

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  • Alexis

    Jacko’s comment was undeniably offensive to the young adult audiences who enjoy the Hunger Games. First of all, you don’t think young adult readers have the smarts to question a part of the book they’re not sure about? Anyways. The Hunger Games is told from a 16 year old girl’s perspective on the events and the world around her. That’s why it’s choppy at times. It’s supposed to be. It’s raw. You don’t always think clear and perfectly crafted thoughts. Collins writing unimpressive? Seriously? And as for the little details, like the cameras in the arena and such, I personally had no problem with the lack of details. Collins focus throughout the entire Hunger Games series wasn’t about the technology of the Capitol, or the entire nation of Panem as a whole. This book series is about war. I don’t think she elaborated on it because that isn’t the main focus, and to explain it she would’ve had to devote several pages of explanation. So give up on the “unimpressive” writing: if you didn’t like it, then you shouln’t have read it. And quit with the “lack of thought” on the Capitol mutts and creations. It’s a book, and it’s a great one, and if you are a true Hunger Games fan then you will appreciate the true meaning of the story line, and embrace the freakish creatures Suzanne Collins created herself. If you’re nit-picking at those little things, it’s pathetic.

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  • marina

    I think Gary Ross is the wrong director. His casting choices are terrible and Seabiscuit is boring. I don’t think he will be able to film the action scenes correctly. I also think that he didn’t get the idea that life in district 12 is hard on everyone so everyone should look in a poor condition and in the verge of starvation. I have seen pics from the filming locations and the District 12 extras an more over the protagonist don’t look like they have had a difficult life at all. If they are at the reaping after entered for tessarae, they should look like that. This is a dystopian novel so I hope they don’t ruin the message of opression and hard living conditions with the actors and extras they chose.

    • Lora

      Garry Ross is not the one with the camera. There’s someone else who’s doing all that(as in the planning of the shots, there’s a heap more to it than just a dude pointing a camera). I can’t remember the right name, but the director is the one overseeing the lot of it, they don’t actually shoot the film.

      I’m sorry, but I really had to mention that one.

  • IDKINPUBLIC

    I agree with Natalie, they’ll probably use an active monologue. Any one who’s seen Twilight has heard Bella use active monologue to explain her emotions and her past. I’m not a Twilight fan myself but have read the books and (sadly) watched the movies.

    To those who have not read the series and are determined to nag on it, saying it’s copying some other book, go and read the book first. Quite frankly, Battle Royale and many other books it’s being compared to may be similar in some ways, but overall are NOTHING alike. The summary here on this website don’t do the series justice, and the author of this article has only read book one.
    Each book is different from the other, therefor you can’t judge a series by the first book.
    I am a writer myself, and know that it takes a long time to introduce properly and for the writer her/himself to get to know these characters as if they would an actual person.
    The first book revolves around the Hunger Games, Catching Fire revolves around the victors, and Mockingjay revolves around the treacherous rebellion. Yes, they are connected, but each is the aftermath of the other. ALL revolve around the horrors of war, the world, and what lies we will tell please and survive. Poeple are rarely happy, so the movie shouldn’t make it seem that way.

    Don’t knock on the wrong door, you won’t get the right answer.

  • Taylor

    There are so many facts wrong in this article. I have read the book multiple times, so I would be able to tell you about even the most trivial of differences.
    To begin with, the article clearly states, “Two “tributes”, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 17, are randomly selected from each district and forced to compete and the watching the games is mandatory.” May I point out that it is between the ages of 12 and 18, not 17.
    Second, it also says that, “It’s an idea that’s good in concept: the dead tributes are resurrected, their minds reduced to feral rage, and placed inside the bodies of mutated wolves to finish off the three remaining tributes.” In the book, it is implied that the muttations might have the memories from the tributes, but it is never confirmed. The only thing that is completely the same is the eyes and the appearances are the same, but it never says anything about the Gamemakers taking anything from the dead tributes, especially their minds.
    Last, the article also says, “Even dumber, the giant wolves run on their hind legs, and somehow that makes them faster.” First, let me point out that in the book, the wolves never run on their hind legs. Second, they only stand on their hind legs to jump, for it gives them extra height.
    I expected more from an article such as the one above, but the author didn’t even bother to get their facts straight.

    • Myra

      I agree that the facts weren’t straight in terms of the age of the tributes and the mutt stuff but overall this is a very good article.

      However I think that Matt Goldber should have written this article after finishing reading the series and maybe re reading the first book again.

      “I imagine that those who initially complained about Lawrence’s casting never saw Winter’s Bone because Katniss is Ree Dolly recast as an action hero.”

      I have seen winter’s Bone and at first I didn’t complain about Lawrence’s casting even though the age she seems to be (older than her twenties) her built and height are very different of what the book describes. My complains came when they cast Gale and Peeta. This is a novel of young kids fighting to death however the tributes and two out of the three leads look older. I know that TV and movies usually cast older people to represent teenageers but for THG movie it would have been more disturbing and truer to the book if they had gone for younger looking actors and the main couple would have been more believable if Katniss didn’t look older and taller than Peeta.

      Other changes that we will have in the movie adaptation are more disturbing.Prim giving the mockingjay to katniss instead of madge, Katniss not being smaller and lighter than most of the other tributes (which made her the underdog ) nor starving, Peeta not having blond wavy hair nor having a stocky build which makes him strong enough to survive cato’s attack to protect katniss and excel in hand to hand combat are major changes, that affect the dynamics and the interaction of the characters.

      According to the novel seam people with their NOT TANNED but natural olive skin, BLACK straight hair and gray eyes were starving and had to endure the worst of the poor living conditions of the districts under the hard dictatorship that was Panem government. They starved so much that they had to sign up for tessarae with all the risks this implied. The merchant people with their really blond hair and blue eyes had a better life, not as good as the one of capitol citizens but better enough to
      generate Gale’s somehow rude remark to Madge at the beginning of the book and Katniss defending her saying it’s not her fault. A huge message of social/racial segregation and hard living conditions will be missed or effed in the movie. Physical appearance also indicate if you belong to the capitol, the poorest districts or the wealthier districts. Caring about looks is not shallow when it comes to the hunger games because the physical appearance had a lot of social connotations.

  • jud

    You call this a premise?

  • aromcath

    It’s worth mentioning I do see a couple heavy pitfalls coming The Hunger Games way.

    First off I can’t imagine a better way to bore an audience then to dumb down the surviving the wilds bit to “Survivor” level. I’d argue the story is much better serve if it were to really dig into a survivalist cook book. anything less then you start hitting that unreal, video game feeling where nothing has any weight and the setting might as well by Disney Land for all its grit.

    Secondly while I agree you don’t need heavy violence to tell this story. I do want to reinforce you do need some well placed violence. Cliche “fad to black”, “reaction shot only violence doesn’t have any teeth. You need to at least show action and imply consequence if not show it directly. Does that necessarily mean panting the scene in spinal fluid graphically, no, but you do need to have some actual sense of danger that actually feel dangerous.

    Basically I see this in the same light as I see Batman, Cowboy Bebop or Bioshock; although its worth noting those are the obvious high brow examples. In that, if you treat the material serious and give its narrative a proper weight and smart script, you’d actually make something pretty damn good as appose to the cool/borderline mediocre thing.

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  • Eric

    Needs to be ‘R.’ and if anyone things the first book drags on, wait until you read the second and third. Don’t get me wrong, im a huge fan of the series, but i have the humility to admit they do get repetitive. As long as they focus on the more actiony scenes this could be a cinematic masterpiece.

  • lololol

    lolololol. shut the fuck up.

    if HG wasn’t well-written, would it be as popular as it was today and have big shot actors as cast?

    and like taylor said, you got your facts wrong.

    the whole way you’re insulting the book and as a YA fan, i feel really disgusted.

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  • lolololol is a literary genius

    lololol, I must say your critique of this article is brilliantly conceptualized and lucidly articulated. I especially appreciated the section in which you judiciously told the author to “shut the fuck up”. Also, your thesis that the popularity of a work is a direct indication of its literary and artistic value is nothing short of genius. Certainly a novel such as “Twilight” is a mega-success because of its fluid and poetic prose and not because it cribs old themes from better works and contextualizes them within the confines of the historically popular genres of romance and horror. Your comments are truly a boon not only to cinema fans, but literary critics everywhere. The world needs more sharp minds such as yours. Congratulations on your ardent and irrationally hostile defense of such a mediocre young adult novel.

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  • Imani

    I don’t know how they are going to do some of the gruesome things in book 2 and 3. Bloody rain and psychological tortures aren’t exactly a stroll in the park.

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  • Lu

    I know they will have to change things for the film.But personally what i want to see on screen is still Katniss’s story,not a real world,slightly shorter version of that video the capitol makes highlighting the “best bits” of the games(See the part just before they are crowned victors).What I mean by this is I don’t want:

    1.To view the film from the perspective of the capitol audience,a lot of the books were about her acting up for the cameras,and how she really felt about things,something we are probably going to loss in the film.(Unless there was a lot of voice-over).
    2.The love story to be blown out of proportion.Although Katniss had mixed feelings and a connection with Peeta,she spent quite a bit of the first half or so convinced his niceness was an act and he was actually plotting to kill her,.The complex relationships between Katniss,Gale and Peeta shouldn’t just be dumbed down just to replicate the success of other teen movies like twilight.

    Also I’d just like to add no the books arent perfect, but they are very good,the article above makes some excellent points and yes i know i write to much.

  • Jay Pearl

    hmm it seems like everyone what is opposed to hunger games simply doesn’t understand it.

    The lack of detail on the capital
    The mutations and multitude of violence
    The star crossed lovers

    They are all simplistic and purposeful. This book isn’t just the mindless killing of kids and a small love story thrown in. and its not the bleak predictable story line of twilight. (which honestly sucked btw)
    I honestly think you need to know the entire story line beforE you jump to questions about the end and you need to understand what happened in the beginning.

    The Capital
    In the being (before our book takes place) there were 13 districts (not just 12) and a diplomatic Capitol. One day the districts began to think of the capitol as a corrupt dictatorship, so they began to revolt. There was a mass war between the capital and the districts and eventually the capitol delivered a huge attack to districts 13 which, whipped it off the planet and ended the war.(shows capitol power) Now with everyone to fearful of the capitol. The Capitol decides to create the hunger games on the anniversary of the wipeout of district 13, so that every generation is still fearful of the capitols power.

    The Lovers
    katniss, peeta, and gale. the 3 players in the heart retching love triangle. while katniss and gale have been best friends for a long time. hunting, taking care of each others families, and surviving together. gale soon starts to fall in love with katniss. but when she is sent away with peeta (the boy that has secretly been crushing on her for years) gale kinda shivels into the background as not the most important charater. peeta on the other hand, you find out has been creeping on katniss and katniss finds eventually that shes been creeping back. When in the games they see that they had more incommon then they thought -(i don’t what to spoil it)-

    “It’s not a fair comparison really. Gale and I were thrown together by a mutual need to survive. Peeta and I know the other’s survival means our own death.”
    -Katniss Everdeen

    The Fight
    now a lot of you guys have been talking about how this book as a lot of mindless violence but like iv stated the inner war between this broken country has created the violence. in the book the reason they don’t show katniss fighting is because she’s a terrified 17 year-old girl she doesn’t want to kill people. what if one day you name got pulled out of a hat and it was decide that u were goingto have to run around some random woods and kill people on tv. you would be scared too. the only people that do most of the killing are the career cause they have been trained to kill for most of there lives. when rue gets killed and katniss performs a small funeral tradition and sings to her it shows she is just a delicate and terrified she might die also. but it shows also that when she kills rues murder she has what it takes to win. even if its morally wrong to her

    “Panic begins to set in. I can’t stay here. Flight is essential.”…”But I can’t let my fear show”.
    -Katniss Everdeen

  • Myra

    Even though the book doesn’t have a very graphic violent nature still filming some of the scenes according to the natural chain of events of the books might have as a result enough violence to deserve an R rating. Example:

    “A boy, I think from district 9, reaches the pack at the same time I do and for a brief time we grapple for it and then he coughs, splattering my face with blood. I stagger back, repulsed by the warm, sticky spray. Then the boy slips to the ground. That’s when I see the knife in his back. Already other tributes have reached the cornucopia and are spreading out to attack. Yes, the girl from district 2, ten yards away, running toward me, one hand clutching a half dozen knives. I’ve seen her throw in training. She never misses and I’m her next target…………………………I can hear the blade whistling toward me and reflexively hike the pack up to protect my head. The blade lodger in the pack.”

    It’s the blood what they will have to supress in order to don’t mess with the PG 13 rating. The very fact of having young kids killing each other might be disturbing enough for some people and that means that this scenes might be edited a lot . I think that the PG 13 rating might take away a lot of the horrific feeling I got when I read the books if they effed too much of the violence that comes with the natural events described on the book.

    I don’t think the movie will be as good as the book. Just the cast they chose give us hints of what will be changed and those changes deal with things that made the book so popular. I think the movie will be a good movie but there’s no way they can stay faithful to the source material.

  • Jennifer

    I really hope that they don;t dim down on the action and violence for the 13 year olds. That would suck.

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  • Anna

    That just makes me mad!! How can you tone down the violence to a PG-13 level? Seriously?!! Isn’t that like what the whole flippin book is about!?! That just .. Uhh. They better make this movie good!! Or else it’ll just ruin it!
    I really hope they do a good job because I love the Hunger Games.

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    Despite the YA label, I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy and am so excited to see it move to the big screen! I have been very impressed with casting and adaptation decisions so far and cannot wait to see what Collins and Ross have in store for us.

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