I’m leaving to see the latest pop culture phenomenon/movie adaptation, The Hunger Games, in about an hour after initially reading the book last May and then re-reading it this week. While I don’t think the book is the best thing ever to hit bookstore and library shelves, I do think that it’s a quick and exciting read that does a nice job blending plot and “message” for a young adult audience. In an attempt to be concise/brief/laconic (read: things I’m not), here are a few issues I’m excited to see the movie tackle and some points I hope they adapt well. Expect another post soon for my post-movie thoughts.
HERE BE SPOILERS, if you worry about that sort of thing. I’ll try to keep them minor.
- Obviously, the violence. I know the movie got a PG-13 rating, but will the portrayals of teen-on-teen violence be as unflinching as they were in the novel? My first thought is definitely no, but I hope the movie doesn’t sugarcoat the battles, either. They’re a major plot device.
- Will the movie (unnecessarily) amp up Gale’s screen time, just because they got a young Hollywood star to play him? Nothing annoys me more than the film industry muddying up stories just to fill their own needs. Gale gets considerably more “screen” time in the rest of the books; let his role remain comparatively minor in this one, please.
- I read a review that focuses on how the slick editing and production of the film erases some of the poignancy of the plot (i.e., ruthless teenage violence), saying that maybe the true horror is how easily the movie goes down. I hope this isn’t the case, because Katniss’s psychological state as the novel progresses was one of my favorite parts of the work.
- How is the film going to deal with Katniss’s complex thoughts on the Peeta-Gale love triangle? Will we see her gradually fall for Peeta, even though she remains unsure of her true feelings, or will their “romance” just be thrust into the viewers’ faces? (Most of my concerns with the movie adaptation are that the production team will fail to properly adapt the nuances that have made the series the phenomenon it is today.)
- I’m very excited to see how the Capitol is portrayed. The costuming and character design could easily fall into laughable territory (come on, it’s hard not to snigger at pictures of Elizabeth Banks in Victorian makeup with a bright pink wig), so I hope the crazy Capitol residents are dealt with in a more solemn light, serving to further the sizable gap between Katniss’s District 12 way of life and the appalling spectacle of the Capitol.
- One of my favorite sequences in the novel (and I’m sure I’m not alone) is the friendship between Katniss and Rue. Of all the sections of the book that I think are sacrosanct, that is the primary one. I hope the filmmakers achieve the complex mix of emotions those scenes provoke in readers, and that Rue’s untimely demise is treated with the gravity it deserves.
END SPOILER ALERT.
Wow, I can’t help feeling a bit like a teenage girl after all that. Anyway, now I’m off to Panem via my local multiplex, where I hope the odds of me enjoying the film are ever in my favor.