Type: Review
Pages: 6 | Words: 1608
Reading Time: 7 Minutes

The Hunger Games achieved great success both as a movie and a book. This book was written by Suzanne Collins, who is also the author of The Underland Chronicles. The film version of the book was released on 23rd March 2012, and it was a massive hit. According to, Todd McCarthy, who is associated with the Hollywood Reporter, “This Lions gate release is being positioned as the hottest property for the teen audience since “˜Twilight,’ and there’s no reason to believe that box office results won’t land roughly in that vaunted vicinity.” (Washingtonpost.com. Hunger Games.). The story revolves around a 16-year-old girl, named Katniss Everdeen, who is a resident of an old mining area called District 12. Though the film has amazingly captured the main story, and the director Gary Ross has done a remarkable job, still it is impossible for a movie to capture the actual plot of the novel. While a movie is shot, the plot is altered, the dialogues are modified, and the characters are also manipulated according to the need of the film. The same is the case with The Hunger Games. Though most of the differences made in the movie turned out to be in the favor of the film, there were moments that could make you feel that the change was not that beneficial. The following are the major differences between the novel and the book.

Firstly, District 12, a place where Katniss lived, was not depicted clearly in the movie. However, in the novel, this place was described in detail. In the movie, most of the characters such as Gale’s family, Peeta’s father and others were not mentioned. In addition to that, the hob was also kept out of notice. Another difference is that the mockingjay pin was not given to Katniss by Madge, the daughter of Mayor. Instead, she founds it at a sale and before leaving for the selection process, she gave it to her sister. And then, her sister again returned it to her when she came to meet her at the train. In addition to that, in the book, Peeta’s father also came to meet Katniss, and he also brought biscuits for her in order to show her that he appreciates her. However, because of frustration, Katniss threw those cookies away. Whereas in the film this scene is completely omitted, and only Gale and Katniss’s mother and sister, Prim Rose, came to visit her. One of the major differences between the book and the movie is the absence of the Avox girl. In the book, while Katniss prepared for games, different servants came to serve Katniss meal and one of them was a read head girl, whom Katniss remembered from the past. She remembered that this girl tried to escape from the Capitol, but she was brutally captured by the government and was marked as a traitor and as a punishment her tongue was removed. While remembering this story, Katniss regretted that she did not save her even though she had the chance to do so. But in the movie, the relationship between Katniss and this Avox girl is completely overlooked, and this relationship is ignored. In the book, as the game starts, finding water proved out to be a tedious job for Katniss. She kept on looking for it all day long. She even asked Haymitch to send her some water through the sponsor, but he did not, and as he did not send her any water, Katniss realized that she was somewhere near the water. In contrast, in the movie, Katniss was able to find water immediately after leaving the Cornucopia. In the book, the relationship between Katniss and Rue, who was the youngest tribute from District 1, barely 11 years old, is discussed in detail. Rue reminds Katniss of her younger sister Prim Rose who was elected as a tribute, but Katniss volunteered to take her place. Katniss felt sympathetic for Rue as no one volunteered for her, and she is determined to keep Rue out of any danger. Whereas in the book, it is shown that Rue appreciates Katniss since the beginning, but Katniss’s determination to save Rue and to protect her from dangers is not mentioned in detail. In the book, the main focus is on how Katniss gets herself volunteered for the game, how hard she worked for her survival and how she prepared for the games with the help of her mentor Haymitch and her stylist Cinna. In the movie, however, much emphasis is put on the backstage scenes, and the audience is made very familiar with the efforts of the backstage crew in the setting up of this huge event. Though all these are major differences but according to most of the people all these differences made the movie more interesting and thrilling, as stated by Joe Neumaier, New York daily news, “It’s better and scarier than its source book, and aims an angry eye at our bloodthirsty, watch-anything-and-cheer culture.”(Washingtonpost.com. Hunger Games.)

While Katniss and Peeta were on the train on their way to the Capitol, they asked Haymitch, their mentor, to give them some advice regarding the games. In the book, he reacted by saying, “Here is some advice, stay alive.”, and then he laughed. Whereas in the movie he said, “Embrace the prospect of your imminent death.” (Youtube.com. Hunger Games). In the book, Gale, Katniss’s best friend, is left behind when Katniss started competing against tough rivals in the game, and then he is not mentioned much in the story. However, in the movie, the story is converted into third person from first person. Therefore, the audience is able to see what Gale is doing while his best friend is competing in the game of life and death.

Another major difference is the reaction of District 11 on Rue’s death. In the book, Katniss recognizes that she has been awarded a token of appreciation from District 11 by the gift that she received. Whereas in the movie, a massive revolt broke out in District 11 after Rue’s death. People started fighting against the soldiers and the government who were responsible for this tragic loss. In the book, the tributes died slowly. For instance, in the beginning of the game, Katniss made camp close to a young woman who made a campfire due to which she was discovered and attacked by her fellow tributes, but she survived this attack and afterwards Peeta was sent to kill her. As he himself said’ “we’re wasting time! I’ll go finish her and let’s move on!”. Nevertheless, in the movie, these deaths occurred in a fast manner. For instance, this young woman died immediately after the attack. Most probably, this change was made to save time.

The actual villain in the story is Catto, who is willing to kill anyone who comes between him and his success. When Catto tried to kill Katniss Thresh, a District 11 tribute saved her life. He saved Katniss, because he realized that she has rendered many efforts to save Rue. He said, “Just this one time, I let you go. For the little girl.” In the end, in the book, Thresh was murdered by Cato, and then there was an intense fight between Cato, Katniss and Peeta. However, in the movie, Thresh was attacked by a group of beast dogs which were sent in the game to kill the remaining tributes, and this attack resulted in his death. In the book, the game maker, mastermind behind all the plans played a very minimal role, but in the movie, people became much familiar with him. This is because the movie is narrated in the third person. However, in both cases, his plans failed, and two tributes were rendered victorious instead of one. However, in the book, nothing was revealed about his fate. In the movie, though, he was locked in a room with poisonous berries and was left to die there as a punishment.

Another difference was that when Katniss told Peeta that whatever they were doing was just a strategy to win the games, he became very disappointed and heartbroken in the book. When she told her that she was not sure about anything that had happened between them then according to the book, “Well, let me know when you work it out,” he says, and the pain in his voice is palpable. (Suzanne Collins. 373) In the movie, he just said that he will not be able to forget this experience, but he was not in a state of great melancholy and distress. In addition to that, in the book, after the games, Peeta’s leg was replaced in a surgery, but in the movie, nothing severe happened to his leg.

There are many differences between the book and the movie The Hunger Games. But the movie covers the plot and theme of the novel to a great extent. Some of the audience might be very pleased with the changes made in the movie in order to save time and make it more interesting whereas the others might not like it as it manipulated the real essence of the book. But at a general level, tremendous effort has been put forth by the cast and crew of the movie in order to maintain the actual theme and story line of The Hunger Games. Despite all these changes according to Christy Lemire, member of associated press, “The Hunger Games’ runs nearly two and a half hours in length but is the rare film that never drags and doesn’t overstay its welcome. It could keep running as long as Katniss does, and we’d want to be right there every heart-pounding step of the way.”

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