Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Hunger Games: Reasoning behind the changes made from the text to the film

I found this great article on E News website that discusses the specific differences between the Hunger Games movie and the book and tries to help us understand the reasoning behind those changes. The author of the article, Leslie Gornstein, points out five apparent changes. First being that the story about the Avox girl that waits on Katniss while in training for the games is completely left out. Katniss is cast as Jenifer Lawrence who has fair skin and light hair when in the book she is characterized as having olive skin and dark hair. In the film, there are scenes added about the dictator of the capital and the creator of the games. There is a lack of violence in the film compared to the fighting described in the novel. The fifth change that Gornstein points out is that a riot scene in District Eleven that was not in the book was added to the plot in the film. In my opinion, the book was a great read so I was very curious to learn why these changes were made in creating the movie and I bet you are curious as well.

Gornstein discovered the answers to our questions regarding these differences from the Hunger Games team that consists of director Gary Ross, scriptwriter Billy Ray and the novel’s author Susanne Collins. In regards to deleting the Avox subplot, the team felt that there just was not enough time allotted to the film in order to fit in the story about the Avox girl. It would have taken too much time to stray from Katniss’s narrative to portray what happened in the woods that day. Do you think that the film should have been extended far longer to include the interaction between Avox girl and Katniss?

As we discussed in class, there has been much controversy about the casting of Katniss as a fair skinned blonde. The team says the answer is simple really, they just could not imagine a better fit for the character than Jenifer Lawrence. Is there another Hollywood star that you believe would have made an amazing Katniss?

In the film, the team created scenes with the dictator and game-maker in order to provide more clarification about the thinking behind creation of the games and the hierarchy of their society. Do you think that this is a necessary add in?

The lack of blood and guts in the film is due to the fact that the makers of the movie wanted it to be PG-13. They wanted to target a similar audience as the novel that being young viewers.

In the film, they added a riot scene that takes place in District Eleven. The team created this addition as a precursor to the second novel Catching Fire and to demonstrate the effect that Katniss and Peeta’s victory has had on the districts. I agree that this change was necessary because I felt that the ending of the novel wasn’t completely satisfying in that it didn’t insinuate what could be coming up in the next novel.       

Check out the article at:



  1. Overall, I thought that the movie was a great adaptation of the book. I think the the producers and writers did a good job at including the most important, though some were only brushed over. Also, we should take into account that this is a movie and that it must fit into a specific time frame. Adding to many scenes would render the movie to be tedious. I thought that Jennifer Lawrence was an excellent choice for Katniss. She was poised and was able to portray Katniss's emotions fairly well, given that we did not hear any of her thoughts. As for the extra scene of the riot in District 11, I thought that this introduced to us a little of what the next movie/book was going to include. I also agree with you that I was dissatisfied with the movie's ending. I would have like to see how Peeta reacted when he realized that Katniss revealed to him that she did not love as he did.

  2. I really like how this article got straight into the differences and brought insight into these changes. The one I was most curious about was the riot that occurred in District 11, I really liked that they incorporated this and left an idea planted in the audience that they can come back to and develop in the sequel.

    Another interesting difference, was the scenes with Seneca and President Snow, it showed President Snow's personality and opened up the discussion for future issues to arise within Panem. These scenes also led up to the scene at the end where Seneca is forced to kill himself with the Nightlock Berries, which essentially tell the audience that President Snow is not afraid to take anyone out, even someone close to him.

    1. Overall, I feel like all of the changes from the book to the movie were relatively minor. Only very minor subplots were changed, the physical appearance of Katniss was lightly shifted, and logical details not in the book were added.
      Personally, some of the added scenes of the gamemakers were my favorite. The details are not in the book because the book is from Katniss's point of view. She couldn't know what was happening. Movies are usually more omniscient. We can't hear her thoughts so why should we only know where she is? The game makers give added detail and insight into the people who make this really happen. The movie makes Seneca Crane an interesting character who is not really analyzed in the books.

  3. I also though the changes made were small and, if anything, helped a lot more than not. One particular scene that you didn't mention that was added to the movie was the scene where two children from the Capitol were playing with swords and one child playfully stabbed the other and she playfully died. I thought this scene was particularly interesting because it showed a little bit of insight of the culture in the Capitol. This goes to show just how desensitized the people and children of the Capitol are desensitized to violence and death. In many aspects, this relates to society today and how children are continually spending longer hours in front of the television and becoming more and more desensitized to violence.

  4. One other change that's worth noting: Katniss getting the mockingjay pin for free from Greasy Sae's random nicknacks box, rather than receiving it from the mayor's daughter Madge (who, like the Avox girl, was completely written out of the film) before leaving for the Games. It's not a huge change, but it does derail Katniss' character a bit. In the book, she knows that for someone who's struggling to put food on the table, the pin is an unattainable luxury item -- an "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it" situation. So it was a little jarring to see Film!Katniss showing an interest in an otherwise-useless decorative item, as it makes her seem overly vain/materialistic/stereotypically "girly" compared to Book!Katniss.

    However, moviegoers who haven't read the book are unlikely to see anything amiss here, so it's not a devastating deviation.


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