By now if your Charlotte Book Club hasn’t read The Hunger Games, you probably have it on your schedule, at least. If you don’t, or you simply haven’t read the trilogy yet, what are you waiting for? The novel may be marketed as YA lit, but it’s a vividly engrossing story for older readers as well. (Spoilers ahead.)
Fans are eagerly awaiting the release of the film, which is less than two months away, and it sounds as if, while the majority of it will remain true to the book—after all, the author was involved heavily throughout production, including in the writing of the script—there are some major differences that will be included. I can understand these alterations in terms of how a book must be adapted for the screen; after all, first person narration doesn’t work so well, and we’ll need to see the entire point of view of the cast, not just Katniss’s, while she is in the arena. But some changes simply don’t make sense.
For example, Madge, Katniss’s only female friend in District 12, is cut. Why cut a character who is so likable, and who plays a bit of a part in two of the books? Instead, Prim is rumored to give Katniss her pin in the movie, which doesn’t make any sense. After all, if they had it all along, it would have surely been sold for food when her father died. There is also LOTS of modified dialogue, so it seems; I compared my book with the trailer today (yes, I am a total fan geek) and there wasn’t much in common between the two in terms of what the characters said.
The thing I have the most problems with, however, is Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch “upgrade.” He doesn’t want to turn Haymitch into a stereotype, so he’s making him more classy, less messy, and apparently less drunk. This just doesn’t sit well with me because Haymitch MUST be destroyed; he must be drowning his pain in liquor.
I must wonder if Harrelson (whom I love very much, don’t get me wrong) has read the second and third books to completely get the character. If not, I would urge him to do so, because part of Haymitch’s drunkenness is his disguise for later in the series, and much of it is to bury his great loss and depression. Depicting him as classy and cute, while it may be fun, doesn’t do his character much justice after what he’s been through—nor for what he’s up to.
Aside from Peeta’s short stature (he is supposed to practically dwarf the tiny Katniss!) and the lack of a dark-skinned Katniss (I had pictured her as much darker), I think the rest of the film looks like it’s going to be spot on, and no matter what, I cannot wait to see it!