Thursday, April 5, 2012

Five Plot Points That Should Have Stayed in the 'Hunger Games' Movie

This is actually a response to a comment that I received on my review for The Hunger Games, which you can find here at KGG and at Word of the Nerd Online.
 It contains spoilers for both the book and the film.

The Mockinjay pin. In the book, it is given to her on the train before departure by Madge Undersee, the Mayor’s daughter. Madge was a surprise to me and it was refreshing to see that Katniss had people in her corner that she didn’t know she would have been able to count on as a friend.  Later, in Catching Fire, we learn that the pin actually belonged to Madge's mother's twin sister, who was a tribute in the Hunger Games and Katniss's mother's best friend. So, the pin was given to signal rebellion towards the Capital, and a way to signal Madge as Katniss's friend.

The Avox. Gale and Katniss saw a girl who was trying to escape the confines of the districts. We find out that the fate of such people is to become an Avox, a tongueless servant. This shows the subtle cruelty of the Capitol and President Snow. Katniss recognizes a female Avox on the train which turns out to be the one she and Gale had seen in the field beyond District 12. Including this in the movie would have helped contribute to the vision of President Snow and those in power in The Capitol who want to enact their cruelty upon the people of Panem.

Haymitch’s drunken antics. It’s made clear that Haymitch Abernathy is a drunk, but during The Reaping, he actually falls off the stage. In the film, he magically sobers up and there’s no explanation as to why. Throughout the book, there is a clear transformation of his character and it would have been help “develop the story naturally” as I think the stark contrast in his character does a disservice to the audience.

Do I finally have a pair of fighters? The training sessions between Haymitch/Katniss and Haymitch/Peeta would also have helped develop the story. It also would have prevented the romance between them from seeming as contrived as it was because would have known that even though it was real on the part of Peeta, it wasn’t as sudden as it was presented on the part of Katniss. There were other moments within the training sessions where we see character development as well. The movie went so quickly from the prep team stuff (BTW where was Portia and Flavius?) into the group training and then to the Games that there is very little dialogue even.

The eyes have it. The sequence with the muttations at the end of the film was extremely rushed. While I like the way Seneca and the gamemakers brought them into the story (since we only see the first person perspective in the book) the fact that the dogs had the eyes of the fallen Tributes was a huge bit of psychological warfare that was played on the remaining competitors. It would have only required the slightest bit more CGI and just a worried glance from the actors. Again, just another bit of development.

Were there other things that you think should have been different about The Hunger Games?

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