The Hunger Games was disappointing as a film. They glossed over tons of stuff. But…that’s just the thing. I never like when they make books into movies. Books don’t make good movies. Especially ones with really taciturn main characters and lots of backstory and tension-setup that needs to occur.
I mean, I’ve seen plenty of movies I liked that were books originally. But I hadn’t read the books.
Maybe I should.
In the class where we read Jane Eyre, the professor said we had to look at the movie as a different interpretation. Any book vs movie situation, it’s better, he said, to consider the film an artistic interpretation. And… Ok. From that perspective, I think the Hunger Games film is disappointingly lacking in what makes it so striking as a story—the scary inequality between the districts and the capitol city. Friends of work people who went with me hadn’t read the book and actually seemed confused as to why it was called the “hunger games,” so unaddressed did the issue go.
I think movies are better for old books that no one’s reading. Making something that is no longer really readable by the average person into something people will pay attention to, for the sake of passing on the story, or illustrating a historical period, etc. Even when they change things to give it a cleaner ending or skip over lots of slow things. There’s room to cut things out of books that address things that are no longer current issues. And older books are a lot slower paced.
Still, so much of what happens in books is in people’s heads. Especially important stuff, emotional connection stuff, motivations, what they’re thinking that they’re not saying out loud. Which is so much of ANY situation. Movies require simplicity of characters or very overt plots. To make a movie out of a book, you at least deserve a narrator or a voiceover. Or a miniseries.