Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: The Hunger Games        

The Hunger Games is a 2012 American dystopian science fiction action film directed by Gary Ross and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland. It is based on Suzanne Collins’s 2008 novel of the same name, with Collins also writing the screenplay with Ross and Billy Ray. The film starts with Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) interviewing the Gamemaker about the Hunger Games and how it is an important part of the dystopian society. The mostly quiet scene is then cut through with a little girl screaming, which is when the main character Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is introduced as she comforts her sister after a nightmare. Katniss then leaves home and goes into the woods outside District 12 to hunt with her best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) before the Reaping later that day. The Reaping is when one girl and one boy from each of the 12 districts is chosen to fight to the death in the country’s  annual event of the Hunger Games. At the Reaping, Katniss’s little sister is chosen to fight in the games, but fearing for her little sister’s life, the 16-year-old volunteers to go in her place. After this, another 16-year-old Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutchinson) is selected out of the boys, and the two tributes are soon taken away on a train to the Capital. Once there, they are given mentors and stylists, train for the games, and are interviewed by Caesar Flickerman along with the other 22 tributes. The children have only a few days to prepare before they are sent into the arena and have to kill each other, as there can only be one winner of the Hunger Games. In this blog post, I will be looking at how the relationships between Katniss and two other characters are affected by the change from book to film. 

Continue reading

Literary Heroine Spotlight: Katniss Everdeen

Image from Wikia
Image from Wikia

There is one literary heroine who has been holding her own in terms of book and movie popularity. This character is Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series, which includes The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.

Katniss Everdeen is a young adult who overcomes many different obstacles throughout the book series, and readers can sympathize with her as well as admire her many strengths and talents. Katniss comes from a poor district where the community barely has food let alone luxuries. She breaks the rules when she sneaks out of the district to hunt for food to put on the table and barter in town. Her hunting helps her develop her skills with a bow. She also is savvy when it comes to traps and hunting skills. She is a regular nature rogue. In the beginning of the series this female character is already displaying traits that show her strength as a female character. She does not depend on other people to survive, and she supports her family by using her skill sets. That is a very admirable quality that many young adults, particularly girls, can look up to.

After Katniss volunteers as the female tribute for her district, she is put into the worldwide event known as the “Hunger Games,” which is run by the Capitol. Through this event, we learn that she is compassionate as well as independent. While Katniss wants to survive, she takes no pleasure in hearing about or taking part in fallen tributes. She befriends one of the younger tributes from another district and works with her to survive. After her friend is killed, Katniss shows compassion not only for that tribute, but also for the tribute’s district. She also is able to save another tribute by the end of the Hunger Games. Through her actions within the games she is able to start a revolution among all the districts against the capitol. Readers can also see Katniss as a rebel, but a rebel with a good cause.

Continue reading

Books on Screen: The Hunger Games

Courtesy of novelnovice.com
Courtesy of novelnovice.com

With the end of the Harry Potter and Twilight series, fan-nerds all over the world are going crazy over The Hunger Games.  The movie is set to be a trilogy, marked after the books, with the second movie set to release this November. 

Overall, I thought that the movie adaptation was really successful and followed the movie pretty closely.  I thought that the beginning could use a narrative exposition rather than having the audience read the entire thing.  I was also disappointed that the mayor’s daughter didn’t make an appearance, forcing Katniss to find the mockingjay pin through a less meaningful route.  They also never really explained the marketplace in District 12.  It was just kind of there, and it lost its effectiveness as an important place. 

Let’s talk about casting for a minute.  I think Jennifer Lawrence was good as Katniss.  She had the look down and everything, but I wish she would’ve shown a little more expression in her face during certain situations.  Liam Hemsworth makes for a great Gale, but Josh Hutcherson is not someone that I’d have pictured for Peeta.  Peeta is supposed to be a tall buff guy, and Josh is shorter than Jennifer is.  Gale and Peeta are also supposed to be the love interests to Katniss, but clearly Gale should be the choice, even though she eventually chooses Peeta.  I was pretty disappointed with him, but he does an okay job acting the part.  I was also kind of disappointed with Cinna.  I think the person who played him was fine, but in the book, it seemed like Cinna was a lot more outgoing, whereas in the movie, he was very understated. 

Although I had a lot of complaints about the movie, I also think it was fairly true to the book.  I just think that it was hyped up so much that we expected too much of it and were ultimately disappointed because it didn’t meet all of our qualifications.  I hope that the sequels will be better and continue to grow, but we’ll have to wait until November to find out.

-Lauren Pirc, Assistant Blog Editor