You've probably seen the Hunger Games movie by now. I did, and I absolutely loved it! It was amazing to see such a great book brought to life on the big screen.
But as I was reading movie reviews, I realized there were a few things in the film that were hard to fully understand if you hadn't read the book. No spoilers ahead!
"They're funny birds and something of a slap in the face to the Capitol. During the rebellion, the Capitol bred a series of genetically altered animals as weapons. One was a special bird called a jabberjay ... the jabberjays mated with female mockingjays, creating a whole new species ... My father was particularly fond of mockingjays... Whenever my father sang, all the birds in the area would fall silent and listen. [The pin] is like having a piece of my father with me, protecting me."
2. The Reaping and the Tesserae.
The movie made it seem like everyone in District 12 was equally poor. In the book, there's also a merchant class, like Peeta's family, and the members of the town government, like Madge's. What the movie glosses over is that kids like Katniss and Gale have a far greater chance of getting picked as Tributes. Here's what Katniss says about it in the book:
"The reaping system is unfair ... You become eligible for the reaping the day you turn twelve. That year, your name is entered once. At thirteen twice. And so on and so on ... But here's the catch. Say you are poor and starving, as we were. You can opt to add your name more times in exchange for tesserae. Each tessera is worth a meager years supply of grain and oil..."
Changing the way Katniss got the pin eliminated the scene when Gale confronts Madge about only having her name in the reaping a few times.
One of my favorite movie reviewers remarked that Katniss isn't really an underdog, that hard luck kids like Katniss must have a huge advantage in the Games over the pampered teens from the Capitol. What? No way. Katniss describes the so-called Careers, the:
"kids from the wealthier districts, the volunteers, the ones who have been fed and trained throughout their lives for this moment... It's technically against the rules to train tributes before they reach the Capitol, but it happens every year. In District 12, we call them the Career Tributes, or just the Careers. And like as not, the winner will be one of them."
4. The Arena. The same reviewer also said that Katniss also had an advantage because the Games take place in the woods. My understanding is that a new and different Arena is created each year. The book says that "the Arena could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland."
5. The Muttations
My favorite reviewer also didn't get these either. He called the mutations "were-dogs." Yikes. Yet I could understand his confusion. As explained in #1, muttations are genetically altered animal-weapons. Maybe showing mutations as described in the book would have been way too creepy. The book describes that final action scene at the end of the Games like this:
"The mutts are beginning to assemble... They put their snouts on the horn, sniffing and tasting the metal, scraping paws over the surface, and then making high-pitched yipping sounds to one another... They are unmistakably human. And that revelation has barely registered when I notice the collar with the number 1 inlaid with jewels and the whole horrible thing hits me ... it's Glimmer."And Foxface. And all the other Tributes.
If the mutations had been like that the movie, I would have covered my eyes!!
Have you seen the movie? What do you think?
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