Today I went to see The Hunger Games movie. I was excited to see it, but didn’t set my sights too high. As I’ve been telling my students the past few weeks, the book is always better!
This book/movie pair was no exception. While I enjoyed the movie, it was nowhere near as good as the book. Right from the beginning I was disappointed by the lack of detail. So much of the character development was left out of the movie. That’s part of why I enjoyed the book so much.
Other parts of the movie were done very well. I enjoyed the games. I thought the translation from book to film was good. I couldn’t get over though, how some of the characters on screen really didn’t match the characters in my head. I have such a hard time teaching and explaining that concept to my students- yet it happens every time I see a movie made from a book.
As I was talking to my husband about books and movies, I came to a few realizations.
1. I think the length of the book plays a huge role into my expectations of the movie. I didn’t expect the Harry Potter movies to follow the books as closely because the books were so long. I think because Hunger Games was shorter, I expected the movie to be truer to the book.
2. I think the amount of action in a book plays a role in how true the movie is to the book. This summer I saw The Help, and was pleasantly surprised by how true that movie was. There was little action in The Help, though, which I think allowed for more character development throughout the movie, just as there’s development throughout the book.
A couple last thoughts…
I know I’m not a parent, but even though the violence in The Huger Games movies wasn’t as graphic as it was in the book, I still wouldn’t let anyone younger than 13 see it. It’s still violent, and has definite child on child death scenes.
I need to figure out how to get my students to realize that the movies they make in their minds are SO much better than any movie any producer can create. Their minds are made to take an author’s words, plus their own imagination, to create a world they want to escape to. You just can’t quite do that with a movie.