Complaint #1 – Why does Hollywood feel the need to make a $100 million movie look like it was filmed with a cell phone camcorder (the “shaky cam”)?
Kait, VictorsVillage – Only a very small portion of the film was shot using the “shaky cam” method. It was done during particularly daunting arena scenes to show Katniss’ level of sheer disorientation as she evaded death in high stress situations. If it made you feel disoriented and slightly uncomfortable, it did it’s job. Now you have some idea what Katniss felt like.
Luly – I actually liked the “shaky cam” use in the movie. The scenes where it was used (for example the reaping and the arena) looked much more realistic and approachable, more “close to home,” so to speak, by using that method instead of looking like a regular Hollywood-like movie that gives you the feeling of something that would never happen. Besides, it also helped out making much stronger the contrast between the settings where the use of that technique was in (for example, D12 in the reaping – that seemed, in some moments, like an independent-ish movie) with the way that the movie was shot in the Capitol (that looked more like what you would expect of a Hollywood movie). When you stop thinking in those scenes in particular and if you liked it or not how they looked, when you consider them in the movie as a whole, they actually make a lot of sense. The “filmed with a cell phone” idea, like you call it, in those particular scenes, does make a lot of sense because, even if you are aware or not, you end up not seeing it as something fantastic and imaginary, you see it more like something that could actually happen, and that is the idea that those strong scenes need to give: that if you don’t pay attention, you can let things like that happen.
Courtney, WelcometoDistrict12.com – I believe that the “shaky cam” added an element that contributed to one of the most valuable aspects of the film. This aspect I would call “unHollywood”. For such a big budget film, the shakiness of the camera added to the reality and grittiness of the situation. I am the worst when it comes to shaky cams, but I felt that they balanced it well with enough stable shots that it did not make me feel sick in the slightest. Also, I just think it would have done a disservice to the books if there was not some kind of way to articulate the feeling of being in Katniss’ shoes (that didn’t use voiceover, which I think would have been too easy). I think people underestimate the power of the shaky cam in relation to the urgency of the situation. –
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network– Okay, first of all, I hate “shaky-cam” recordings. But, in The Hunger Games, the approach actually builds up the emotions inside the character’s head. Katniss’s introduction was a plus, and even all of the arena – are you really telling me you wanted to sit and watch a Gamemakers’ version of the Games? What we saw was the authentic inside-the-story view which only enhanced the entire point.
Perri, Movies.com – The point of the “shaky cam” technique is to make you feel as though you’re in Katniss’ shoes, or right beside her. Personally, I thought it worked very well, but I’ve got to admit, that might have something to do with the fact that I’m a bit of a found footage junkie. There are a small handful of instances where the camera work is so shaky, you can’t track the action, but at the same time, that inability to get your bearings is a good representation of the disorientation and discomfort felt during reaping day and in the arena. The one instance where Gary Ross really could have used a more stable shot is the scene at the end when Katniss, Peeta and Cato are fighting on top of the Cornucopia. The action was shot from such a close distance, it was tough to figure out who was where. There was one shot from overhead that let you get a sense of the environment; more of those would have been helpful.
Complaint #2 – I think there should have been some flashbacks about how Katniss and Gale become friends. My daughter’s friend hasn’t read the books and thought Gale was Katniss’s brother. It should have been clear to the viewers who was Gale.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – When Gale suggests they run off in the woods, Katniss tells him, “You have your brothers, and I have Prim.” That should let you know that they are not related. He also didn’t go in with Katniss’ mom and Prim when they said their goodbyes in the Justice building; he went in separately. Also, it should be even more obvious to the viewer that Gale has feelings for Katniss when they show his face watching Katniss & Peeta kiss.
Adam, TheFandom.Net – Some people want this to be a 10-hour miniseries (which would be fun to watch!). There is simply no way for them to explain everything in a feature-length film, especially when critics are already saying it was a shade too long (I don’t agree with that, but you see what they are dealing with). Gale does not go home with Katniss. He never interacts with Mrs. Everdeen. If people are a little confused, they will pick up on it eventually. This was not needed.
Luly – There was barely time in the movie to include the flashback of the bread, I don’t think there was enough time at all to explain about Gale and Katniss’ background. Besides, given the fact that we weren’t inside Katniss’ head, some things had to be left to interpretation (that’s why Gale was shown watching the games, for example). I think that with the goodbye they shared and their moment in the woods before the reaping, there was enough of Gale for the first movie. If something else was included, something that stayed in the movie should have been taken out, and this was more possible for people to interpret on their own.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – We have to remember that this movie is already 2 hours and 22 minutes. I have heard some people thought the beginning dragged, and of course those who didn’t get enough of District 12. For this first movie, we just HAVE to focus on the story at hand and keep pushing the story forward. I understand why this flashback did not happen, and I’m sure it was for time reasons. We also cannot forget that almost all of Catching Fire takes place in District 12. What better time to really focus on Gale’s relation to Katniss?
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – We actually had enough of Katniss and Gale, thank you very much. I am a Gale fan, but thought he was overdone in the first movie. The movie simply isn’t about how the two became friends. The important part of their backstory was, in my opinion, to bring in Katniss’s dad. That came in the movie, I cried, and thought was a great scene. Gale is always in the back of Katniss’s head, but I guess even the full love triangle scene doesn’t come into the fore until Katniss is forced to [CF Spoiler]
pretend they’re cousins.
Perri, Movies.com – Flashbacks aren’t as easy to throw in as you think. As someone who’s attempted to write some screenplays of her own, I can’t even begin to tell you how much calculating is necessary in order to find the pitch perfect spot to include a flashback where it feels like it’s moving a certain scene, point or concept forward rather than just being extraneous material. As for the establishment of Gale’s relationship with Katniss, I thought it was made rather clear – Gale had his own separate goodbye, there was mention of his brothers and sister and there’s most certainly a non-brother/sister-like attraction there. If anything, I don’t think their connect was as poignant because Liam Hemsworth isn’t the greatest actor. No, he isn’t terrible, but when he’s next to Jennifer Lawrence, he just can’t quite hold his own.
Complaint #3 – Was the author mad at the directors for not giving the real reason behind the pin?
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Considering that the author co-wrote the screenplay with the director, I don’t think she was mad at all.
Tiffany, Victor’s Village.com – Suzanne Collins co-wrote the screenplay with Gary Ross, the director. She is also credited as an executive producer of the film. If she was mad at anything in the film, it would not have made it into the film. Those at Lionsgate had to swear up and down to Suzanne Collins that they would respect her story before they could acquire the rights to it, and they’ve kept their promise..
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – It was probably her suggestion!
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I heard she’s threatened to sue the screenwriter. J/K. She won’t sue herself.
Complaint #4 – Why not make it rated R and 4 hours long? It was rushed and too family friendly except the mutt part.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Yeah, they could’ve done that. But I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be able to make a sequel, since they would’ve lost half their audience and it would’ve been a financial loss to the studio. Be reasonable! This is a movie based off a young adult novel.
Luly – I have so many reasons that I couldn’t write them all here, so I’ll be more brief. First of all, if you are going to respect the actual readers of the books, you need to make a movie that most of them can watch in theaters (it’s Young Adult fiction, there are 13 year-olds or 14 year-olds that have read these books). Second of all, 4 hours? Let’s remember that the movie wasn’t made “for fans only”; anyone has to be able to go see it and enjoy it. Would you go see a movie that you have no idea what it’s about for 4 hours? That is very unlikely. And last but not least, this movie needs to be successful enough to have a sequel, or at least that is what all we fans hoped before we knew how it was going to do out there. With a 4 hour-long R-rated movie, we wouldn’t be waiting for Catching Fire now.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – I don’t think the movie should have been a second longer than it was, because then it starts to drag. Plus, this is a young adult book. Cutting out your core audience is business suicide. As for the violence level, I thought it was enough without being gratuitous. Suzanne Collins wrote an incredible story with an anti-violence message. Don’t you think a Tarantino level violence would have been completely against the message of the books?
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I know this will probably raise eyebrows at my commitment to The Hunger Games as a whole, but I was glad they kept the violence level down. And I really don’t think I’d actually survive an R-rating (I tried watching Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return once, I couldn’t go to school the next day so, yeah.) And honestly – most of the people would be sick, too, even if you don’t think you would. Has anyone seen the fake Coca Cola advert parodying THG? Please Google it, and tell me you’d watch 22 people die like that. Suzanne Collins wrote the book for kids, to instill the values in this trilogy in them – if those kids can’t watch the movie made for them, who would? We know the kids are dying, and I think though the dead deserve more than a second on-screen it isn’t imperative to really see Cato mutilate another tribute all through.
About the length – I was good with it. I don’t see what else they could have added/cut, I thought the movie overall was a good job.
Perri, Movies.com – Perhaps that rating and running time would be suitable for a director’s cut, but The Hunger Games is a wide release theatrical film and those are made to make some money. To be honest, when I see a movie’s got a running time of over two hours, I stop and consider whether or not it’s really worth it. Even just two hours and 22 minutes can run the risk of cutting off some of the crowd. As for that R rating, that could be even more detrimental to The Hunger Games’ profitability. The film is based on a young adult novel, keyword young. Sure, the movie can please folks of all ages, but The Hunger Games needed the teen crowd to be a hit. In fact, not only does that rating help the film get the Twilight fans involved, but the fact that it does teeter towards a more adult demographic gives it the chance to be even more profitable than The Twilight Saga. However, it’s not all about the money. Had the filmmakers opted to go the unlimited running time route, the final feature just likely wouldn’t play well. And, should they have lifted all censorship on the more brutal scenes, the violence of the story would have completely overshadowed the relationships and motifs of the story, and perhaps simply turned moviegoers off, too.
Complaint #5 – They didn’t explain why Peeta had allied with the Careers
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – No, they don’t explain it forthright. This is where writers expect the audience to use deductive reasoning when watching the film. Sometimes things are implied and you are to figure it out on your own. For a non-reader, that person is probably not sure what to think about Peeta declaring love and then joining with the Careers to kill her. However, once the non-reader gets to the tracker jacker part and sees that he doesn’t kill Katniss when he gets the chance, that person can come to the conclusion that either Peeta actually joined the Careers to make sure they don’t kill Katniss, or that he was trying to just keep himself alive, or both. Either way, it still works and no explanation is needed.
Adam, HG Fireside Chat – And in the books, you don’t get to find that out either when Katniss first discovers it. I loved the way they had the viewer wondering, “WTF???” just as Katniss is. This was a plus in my opinion!
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – Thank goodness Gary Ross made a movie for an intelligent audience. He doesn’t tell, he shows. Every single second is important, as is every single look from the actors. This entire point is come across when we see Peeta watching Katniss in the tree when the careers settle for the night. This references the part when Peeta stays awake that entire night in the books, and we get confirmation when Peeta tells her to run while Katniss is on tracker jacker venom.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I don’t think I know that either, except that I understand the guy must have a great plan working somewhere in his brain, which we already saw when he put Katniss in the spotlight even while keeping the focus on himself in the Tributes’ interview. There’s no real ‘explanation’, when you think about it.
Complaint #6 – Buttercup wasn’t explained and was even the wrong color
Adam, TheFandom.Net – I do wonder why they couldn’t have found a cat that was the right color. In this case, I agree with that part. However, explaining more about Buttercup would have cut into a more important part of the picture. I was just happy they found a way to include Buttercup at all!
Ariel, Nerdy, Wordy, and Almost Thirty – Buttercup doesn’t really need explaining. It’s a cat that Katniss doesn’t like. This helps the audience see her as an tough girl, not readily given to affection with the exception of Prim. In the movie, buttercup (no matter what color) served his purpose.
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – Does Buttercup need an explanation? I’m honestly surprised that he was even in the movie! As far as the color goes, I’m sure they TRIED to find a yellow cat who could do the job, but they must not have been able to do so in the time available. They probably visited local animal shelters and found the meanest, ugliest, and most trainable cat in the area. And he just happened to be black and white!
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – I really just think there was not a trained cat of that color in the vicinity of the production. I’m sure they at least tried to make it happen, but the most important thing was to find one that could hiss on cue. There’s no need to explain her cat. You explain about a cat by showing a cat. I mean, really!
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – They could have had Crookshanks! I was a little indignant at the sudden appearance of that cat. But that’s alright, the cat’s color was no help to Katniss in the Games.
Stacy, Girls in the Stacks – Buttercup is used as an allegory in the books. What’s important is that the essence of Buttercup was captured in the movie. As such, any wild looking cat could play the part, regardless of color.
Complaint #7 – Wasn’t it written that the cornucopia was gold?
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – I don’t think the cornucopia being gold is important to the story. Suzanne Collins could’ve easily said the silver cornucopia and it wouldn’t have mattered. Another possibility is that silver just looks better on film than gold, however, that’s just speculating on my part. BTW, the cornucopia design was inspired by the work of famous architect Frank Gehry, which is a a really fascinating tidbit, if you’re at all into architecture. I rather liked how it looked.
Aldrin, DownWithTheCapitol – The cornucopia was indeed gold in the book, but I personally think that would have looked like an eyesore in the movie. I personally prefer the movie cornucopia and think that the darker and futuristic look is more aesthetically pleasing.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – Welcome to moviemaking, where they take creative juices to build upon ideas and make them TOTALLY AWESOME.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I was actually a little disappointed. No golden horn. The color and the shape were all wrong. But can you imagine that spectacular Cato and Peeta scene atop the Cornucopia if it was different? Now pick one – golden horn or Cato and Peeta? I thought so.
Stacy, Girls in the STACKS – Really? Does it matter? The cornucopia is symbolic, it represents abundance and nourishment. The color itself is not important.
Complaint #8 – In the movie, it says that she got the pin from Greasy Sae, not Madge.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – The person she got it from wasn’t Greasy Sae. The vendor didn’t have a name. But if you’re referring to the idea that Madge not giving Katniss the pin is a travesty, I would have to disagree with you. Considering that movies always have to make certain changes from the books, this was a good change to establish the close bond between Katniss and her sister, something that had to be established without having to resort to voiceover to do it.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Let’s assume. [Spoiler] Madge, by the way, simply disappears from the trilogy. Therefore, considering that, I don’t see any real consequence of her absence.
Perri, Movies.com – I like Madge just as much as any Hunger Games fan, but when you’ve only got two and a half hours to work with, some people just have to go. Can you imagine if out of nowhere Madge popped into that sequence of scenes after Katniss volunteers for the games? Either the character would have been drowned in rushed exposition or she would have been rendered meaningless due to the fact that she had no backstory and that, in turn, would have affected the value of the pin.
Tiffany, VictorsVillage.com – We don’t know who that vendor is. Since Katniss didn’t get the pin at a food stall, then we can’t assume that that was Greasy Sae.
Stacy, GirlsintheStacks.com – We can assume it was Greasy Sae, but you know what that say when you assume things…The movie is long, adding Madge to the story would have given us less time with the main characters. However, I will say that the significance of the pin was diminished with its haphazard discovery. Though on the flip side, we get two touching moments between Prim and Katniss.
Complaint #9 – Doesn’t it seem that the movie makes you want to be Team Gale, but the book makes you want to be Team Peeta?
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Okay, putting aside the whole “team” thing. I really don’t think the decision comes deep into play until more in the 2nd and 3rd books, though. The whole time I was reading the book, I felt unsure of who Katniss should be with, and I think it plays it out the same way in the movie. When you think about it, you get to read more about Katniss and Gale’s connection with each other and you think, how sweet, they have each other. Then she’s reaped and then she’s confronted with another boy who you’re not sure what to think about until you read on and you find that he’s just as likeable, too. In the book, they give you that feeling, that both have qualities that are good and likeable in a guy. In the movie, you see that Gale obvious has something for Katniss and then you see Peeta and how he would give his life for Katniss to win, without question. How can you not feel for him. How can you not feel for Gale? I don’t think we were supposed to side with one or the other. And no, I don’t think the movie made me want to pick Gale over Peeta, just as the book didn’t want to make me pick Peeta over Gale.
Luly – In the book, you can know what goes on in Katniss’ head and, even so, you don’t know who she will choose in the end. Therefore, you can prefer her to be with whoever you like best. In the movie, we didn’t have Katniss’ insight but we could see different things from both of them, enough to “take a side” if that is what you want to do. Gale was seen worried, he was also brave enough to promise Katniss that he would take care of her family but he also offered her the option of running away from D12, which Katniss considers unreasonable. Peeta, on the other hand, was showed as the boy who gave her the bread back when they were younger, the one who doesn’t want the Capitol to own him, but they give you that moment of doubt when he’s with the careers. They weren’t able to show all the elements in both characters, but they showed enough of the things that have to do with their relationship with Katniss and how Katniss sees them. The movie doesn’t want you to be “Team Gale” and the book doesn’t want you to be “Team Peeta”; they both want to show you the shades of mankind’s behaviour, the cruelty of a government out of control, the hope of people who keep fighting despite all and many other ideas that are, in my opinion, far more important.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – The movie doesn’t make you want to believe anything about this silly existence of “teams”. We are simply shown the fact that Gale is bummed about the Katniss/Peeta thing, which begs audience members to see the following film where more about the characters’ relationships develop.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – A lot of people have come up with that but how, really? I guess there was no other way for a build up to Gale and Katniss’s relationship other than showing a bummed Gale. Frankly, it makes me pity Gale, but love isn’t based on pity. In the books, Katniss is always wondering what Gale is making out of all the kissing – so yes. No deviation.
Perri, Movies.com – The whole Team Gale vs. Team Peeta thing doesn’t really become much of an issue until Catching Fire. Sure, there are hints at her relationship with Gale in the first book, and the first film, but you don’t really see Katniss struggle to start making decisions until the second book. I think the only reason we have this Team Gale/Team Peeta thing at all with the movie is because so many people have read the entire series of books.
Ariel, Nerdy, Wordy, and Almost Thirty – Nope. (This is not a valid rebuttal, but I had to say it.)
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – Maybe that is what YOUR experience was; others might feel totally different! Both the book and the movie tell a story, and it’s up to you — the reader or the viewer — to decide what you feel. The movie seems to have just made you look at Gale’s character in a different way, which I understand. I was never “Team Gale” when reading the books, but the movie made me feel a lot more sympathetic towards his character, simply because I was actually seeing him “fleshed out” for the first time by Liam Hemsworth. I don’t think the movie plays into the whole “Teams” thing at all, though; it simply portrays Katniss’s relationships with both characters in a very objective, true-to-the-book way.
Complaint #10 – Rue’s story not being in the movie was a huge disappointment.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – While Rue’s backstory, as you say, was not specifically told in the way that it was in the books, I believe enough of it was told for you to understand who she is. Rue was also someone for Katniss to compare her sister with, which is exactly what was brought out in the movie. You see that Rue is sly and can climb when they show her in the training center. If you pay careful attention in her interview with Caesar Flickerman, he does mention her agility and whether she’s a hunter or gatherer in her district. And the whole scene in District 11 can also show you a glimpse of the oppression that Rue has had to deal with in her district. So, there’s as much as you need to know about her. I believe also, that they needed to keep the focus on Katniss throughout the movie, so yeah, sometimes the sidestories aren’t as detailed as they are in the books. But I don’t believe Rue’s backstory not being shown how it is in the books is a disappointment. For non-readers, I believe they understand the comparison between Rue and Prim than the fans estimate them to understand.
Stacy, GirlsintheStacks.com – Rue’s story was in the movie. Fundamentally, everything that she represented was imparted – her innocence and her ability to go unseen. .
Tiffany, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – While it would have been nice to see more of Rue, there is much about Rue that is told in her few scenes if you pay attention. You can tell much about Rue’s personality and what she means to Katniss in how she interacts with Katniss: how she eats everything off the bone, how she initially refuses Katniss’s, how she playfully asks if what Katniss and Peeta have is real, how she sings her four notes to the mockingjays, how she sleeps in the tree with Katniss. Yes, a lot of what that says is implied, but thankfully, the movie does not assume the audience is stupid. While watching the movie, there is no doubt that her death is tragic to us and to Katniss.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I thought Rue was a beautiful character even as a movie standalone. What they cut out was a backchat, if you look at the big picture. What they kept was the tragic little girl who even in the short screentime wins hearts. From the training scene till the glimpse at the District 11 uprising, I thought Rue’s buildup was subtle and effective.
Complaint #11 – How Katniss came upon the Mockingjay pin was a huge disappointment.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Again about the Mockingjay pin?! I can understand that people are a bit underwhelmed about Katniss getting the pin from the box at The Hob, however, I don’t think it’s a “huge disappointment.” The process of the pin will be a shared token between sisters now, a display of a sisterly bond, which seems a lot more significant. I’ve read people’s complaints about how it now won’t be as meaningful in the upcoming sequels because the whole story of the pin has changed. It can still be a factor, just maybe not the way it is in the books, maybe better. Or, if they actually do bring in Haymitch’s backstory into the fold, which I can see them not add in due to time (and you’d better believe they are going to have to cut out some sections from the books), I can still see the pin coming into play there as well and still have meaning. The thing is, don’t jump to conclusions. We still have a ways to go before the whole story is played out on film. To be honest, I’m looking forward to seeing the pin come into play differently than in the book.
Kait, VictorsVillage – When you consider character development, Madge Undersee wasn’t a huge part of the story, so her character was cut by the script writing team, which included Suzanne Collins. By cutting down that interaction, they cut down several minutes of character introductions that would have probably been cut elsewhere were it not for the change.
Tiffany, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – The use of Madge as a character is a storytelling device to give the pin significance, and it works on paper in book form. For a movie, introducing a character just to give a pin to Katniss, no matter how meaningful that backstory is in the book, takes up time and focus to show and explain. The meaningfulness of Madge giving Katniss the pin would not have translated well in the movie. Not all characters are going to make it from book to movie, and Madge was easy to cut, especially when movies, unlike books, have time limitations.
Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – Cutting Madge was essential in building the more important relationship between Katniss and Prim. Had they kept Madge, it would’ve taken valuable time away from showing how close Katniss and Prim are, and would’ve downplayed the sacrifice Katniss made by volunteering for Prim at the Reaping. You have to admit, Katniss and Prim exchanging the pin to protect each other was beautifully heartbreaking!
Complaint #12 – They could have left this part out with Snow and Crane and added stuff that was in the first book that was left out.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – The Snow and Crane scenes were essential for knowing what was going on outside of Katniss’ POV and giving the viewers more information as a standalone film. There were no guarantees that a sequel was going to be made, and they very well acted scenes. It gives you a chance to delve earlier in the series of who the real enemies are, giving you a hint of what’s to come if the movie is successful. Besides, how could you not want Seneca Crane’s Beard to be given the spotlight?
Jessi, HungerGamesFandom.Net – I could not disagree with this complaint more! All of the added scenes were relevant, especially the rose garden ones with Seneca Crane and President Snow. Not only do they provide a solid explanation to the true role The Hunger Games play in Panem, but also show Snow’s growing displeasure with Seneca, which ultimately leads to his death. Plus it sheds some light on just how long Katniss has been under Snow’s radar. His true villainous persona is brought to life in these scenes.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – The added Snow and Crane scenes were without a doubt, one of the film’s most greatest qualities. It was the smartest choice to articulate to the audience what the Hunger Games is really about, and communicate to them what the next installment has to offer.
Stacy, GirlsintheStacks.com – Rue’s story was in the movie. Fundamentally, everything that she represented was imparted – her innocence and her ability to go unseen. .
Tiffany, VictorsVillage.com – The extra scenes with Snow and Crane really give audiences a sense of Snow as a villain. In the first book, there is only a hint of Snow’s role as a villain at the very end with the crowning and a lot of that is told in her thoughts, something that doesn’t work on film without a cheesy voiceover. It is important to give the audience a sense of what Katniss will be up against in the following movies.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – That was one of my most favorite scenes in the movie! It shows us a greater insight into what the politics in Panem is like, why Seneca Crane is the way he is, why he must loosen the fireball upon Katniss. The structure of the movie is deliberately like this so non fans can understand the movie and the actual implication of the story.
Complaint #13 – The ‘mutts’ were a joke!
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – I’m assuming you’re talking about the dog mutts in the final scene as compared the tracker jackers, as they are also muttations. Maybe they weren’t what you had imagined them to be in your head, but I actually prefer the idea of them looking much more different than wolf-like as they were described in the book, so as not to raise comparisons to werewolf-like creatures that have already been displayed on screen many times before. Either way, they are just meant to be a mutation of something familiar and much more dangerous, which I believe they achieved. I know that Ian Joyner (he was asked by the studio to take down the images of his concept art at this time) had created some fantastic concept art regarding the dog-mutts that I think would have been great to see, but much more explanation and plenty more money would’ve been needed to bring it to light for non-readers to fully comprehend, something I believe they were pretty much constrained by already.
Kait, VictorsVillage.com – Ummm.. we’re not particularly amused by giant attack dogs murdering Thresh and Cato. They were scary and just as vicious as the wolf mutts in the book without eliciting Twilight comparisons.
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – I actually thought the muttations were extremely well done, and I’m usually VERY critical about CGI, especially creature-related CGI. I loved the design of the mutts and found them terrifying. I also thought it was cool how we really only saw them in the veil of night; things half-hidden in shadow are always way scarier than what can easily be seen.
Jessi, HungerGamesFandom.Net – I jump each time we see that first mutt, even though I know it’s coming and I try to stay composed. They are terrifying! I will say they are not what I pictured, but they fit the role exceptionally well. No joke about it!
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I was actually too terrified by that point to really care if it were dogs or wolves. The point is – something unnatural was there to confront the three remaining tributes. Yes, it undermines the effect, but doesn’t, again, affect the story in any way. They were as creepy as they could be. The CGI could have been better, agreed.
Perri, Movies.com – I’m normally one to rip bad CGI apart (in fact, I’ve got a little issue with the fire during the opening ceremonies), but the slightly cartoonish look of the mutts felt quite appropriate. They’re not actual animals like, let’s say the tracker jackers. They’re instantaneous Capitol creations so it’s fitting for them to actually look digital rather than like a real wolf.
Complaint #14 – The biggest issue I saw was that people who didn’t read the book were left confused and disappointed. I’m also one of those type of people that will go and see a movie over and over again 3 to 10 times while its still in the theater before its gone. This is one movie I won’t go back and see.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – I’ve heard from other people as well, those who haven’t read the books and they understood as much as they needed to in the movie, as long as they paid attention. I think those who have actually read the books are the ones that need to see it more than once to really appreciate it for a standalone film; that’s how it was for me. Everyone who has read them already has a picture in their mind of how their own version of the books should be made and I believe that’s what detracts readers from really enjoying the film. So, yes, I am suggesting that you see it more than once, but if you just can’t bare to do so, then from my perspective that’s a shame because I feel this is one of those movies that definitely can be seen multiple times and may even be better than the first time you saw it.
Kait, VictorsVillage.com – I know several people who saw the film without reading the book and not one of them was confused. They understood every detail.
Jessie, HungerGamesFandom.Net – This really just depends on the viewer. I actually would have agreed with this complaint a couple weeks ago as I knew a number of people who didn’t read the book who were in fact left confused, so I thought this was the norm. However I have since talked to quite a few unfamiliar with the books who understood it quite well. It all depends on the individual.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – My best friend has never read the book, and she understood everything. She also says Josh Hutcherson as Peeta was great – even though she never read the book, I emphasize.
Complaint #15 – Leaving Peeta with his terrible leg, bleeding to death and Katniss running and pounding on the glass door was WAY too important to keep from the movie.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – As emotional as that was in the book, there’s a few issues they probably had to consider, and I’m only speculating here. First off, there was a lot, and I mean a lot, of situations in the book that I felt were very important to the storyline as far as character development, this being one of them. But we have to accept that really good character development can only be established in a well written novel. An author has more freedom to write as much as they want to. This is not so when it comes to developing a book into a movie. Sometimes scenes have to be sacrificed. As powerful as it was to know that Peeta had lost his leg in the book, when you think about it, it wasn’t really needed to move the story along. Nowhere in the rest of the books is it necessary for Peeta to have a fake leg. Secondly, aside from Finnick carrying Peeta because his fake leg keeps tripping him up in Catching Fire, it’s hardly mentioned anywhere else. There’s still enough action and suspense where they can forego the idea of Finnick carrying Peeta. And there’s still enough romance that can be involved in the sequels to still establish how Katniss really feels for him.
Also, in a recent interview with makeup designer Ve Neill, she stated that the leg was not going to be addressed, so it seems that Suzanne and Gary had already written that out. I believe the reason they did so was partially because of having to add in more time to the already lengthy film. When you think about it, having Peeta’s leg injury the same as in the book would’ve probably led to at least 15 more minutes to the film, especially when you include her “running and pounding on the glass door”.
Now I can’t say it would not have been better if they included that, and I, too, would’ve liked to see it on screen, but I just think it isn’t as important to the overall storyline as you (and many others) may think. That being said, I’m in the minority on this argument, obviously, as you will find no other rebuttals about it.
Complaint #16 – Some of the killings weren’t as graphic, especially Clove’s and Marvel’s.
Kait, TheFandom.Net – If you’re only paying attention to The Hunger Games for gratuitous blood and guts, maybe you should go rent a SAW movie instead. The Hunger Games isn’t about the gore, it’s about the awful role violence plays in the media. By saying you wanted graphic deaths, you’re pretty much admitting you missed the point of the books.
Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – The first time I saw the movie, I felt sick watching the cornucopia bloodbath. The fact that it’s kids killing kids should be enough to leave most people unsettled. And the violence they did show was enough for me. You shouldn’t have to see blood and guts everywhere to understand that what The Capitol is making these kids do is brutal itself.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – I worry about all the people who think The Hunger Games wasn’t more graphic. The bloodbath made me shed tears my first viewing. It was so horrible, and there was plenty of blood. Remember, this story has an anti-violence message.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – The movie isn’t about blood, guts and gore. The movie is about how disgusting all of it is.
Perri, Movies.com – Graphic killings, like in Saw or Hostel, have the gross-out factor. They make you cringe and squirm and that’s basically it. However, when you’ve got, let’s say, Thresh bashing Clove against the Cornucopia and it’s off camera, not seeing it, but knowing what’s happening to her makes it all the more horrifying. And actually, there were far more graphic kills than I thought there’d be. You really don’t get more blatantly vicious than when Cato snaps that boy’s neck.
Complaint #17 – Cato was supposed to be tortured a whole night.
Jessi, HungerGamesFandom.Net – All the important details of Cato’s death were included, I’m not sad we didn’t experience him getting tortured all night. I’d rather not watch that anyways.
Adam, TheFandom.Net – His death was plenty gruesome enough. At some point, Lionsgate needed to draw the line on gratuitous violence and brutality. Everyone got the idea.
Kait, VictorsVillage.com – Was the time lapse really that important? Either way, he dies a brutal, painful death.
Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – In the book, Cato’s lengthy death made sense. Katniss had inner thoughts that explained that perhaps the mutts would finish him off. However, how would that translate on screen? I think people would actually be upset at Katniss and Peeta if they just sat there listening to Cato suffer.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – Time doesn’t matter here, what’s most important is that you feel bad for Cato (shown in Cato’s speech on top the Cornucopia), and that Katniss shoots him out of pity, which is also shown by Cato pleading, “please”.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I’m sorry, I thought Cato’s speech makes up for every other negligible defect in that scene.
Complaint #18 – Why is President Snow old?
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – I’ll answer this with my own question: Why do people think President Snow is young?
Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – Are there many young presidents to begin with? When I think of a president, I generally think of them being older.
Denise, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – President Snow has a granddaughter that is mentioned in Mockingjay, so he has to be at least old enough for that.
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – Because he is old. Textual evidence: He has white hair. He has a granddaughter. He’s been in power for a long time. He likes gardening.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Please don’t tell me you thought if he was young he’d fit the Damon Salvatore category. He wasn’t a hot villain. He was a grandfather. Not worth your crush!
Complaint #19 – The 3 finger salute did not start in District 12, it was from 11 and didn’t appear till later in the book!!
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Wrong! The first time the salute is explained in the book is exactly how it was shown in the movie. Katniss volunteers and they give her the salute, so yes, in the books, you hear about it from District 12 first, not 11.
Adam, HG Fireside Chat – It’s a slight change, but I think an effective one. They don’t have the ability on screen to explain everything, so sometimes you have to make slight alterations to feature something as amazing as the three-fingered salute. If they had done a backstory from District 11. it would have hurt the film in pacing and other ways. I think this way was fine!
Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – The salute is actually in line with the book and it originates from District 12 citizens. District 12 doesn’t clap for Katniss for volunteering at the Reaping, they instead stay silent and give her the salute, meaning thanks, admiration, and goodbye to a loved one. When she uses it after Rue’s death, it’s Katniss’ way of showing solidarity between District 12 and 11.
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – No. What you see play out in the movie is exactly what happens in the book. The entirety of District 12 gives Katniss the three-finger salute after she volunteers for Prim at the Reaping. That’s the first time we learn about the salute. It seems to be a common gesture amongst all the Districts — or at least Districts 11 and 12.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I believe this might be because the District 11 salute stands out against the District 12 one, but read the books carefully again. No deviation here.
Complaint #20 – I honestly think that if they would have taken an extra 45 minutes to build on her relationships with those around her that the movie would be better than okay; it would have been memorable.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Unfortunately, this movie being 2:22 long is quite long for a movie geared towards the core audience of teenagers and young adults. Logistically speaking, making it a 3 hour movie would have been great, but it also would’ve prevented some people from going to see it, which could affect the amount of money made and any plans of sequels. There are rare cases where it works splendidly (like the LOTR series), but those are rare cases.
Perri, Movies.com – Of course a longer running time would mean more relationship development, but who has the patience to sit through a three-hour+ film? I’d like to bet that if those relationships, and therefore the running time, were amped up, there’d be so much material in the film, every little thing still wouldn’t resonate. Plus, we’ve got a whole franchise to look forward to! If you want relationships that feel honest and natural, it’s better to let them breathe.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – Are you crazy? A three hour movie? That’s a huge deterrent for the general public. Word gets out fast, and many people would have decided against seeing it.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Umm. Why drag out something that is supposed to build itself throughout the series?
Complaint #21 – They never touched on Gale’s and Katniss’ relationship on how they hunted together.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – I beg to differ considering her time in the woods outside of the restricted “high voltage” fence, she’s met by Gale. He obviously is familiar with the woods as much as she is, and he even helps her get food when he throws the rocks to scare the birds into flying. If that’s not “touching” on the subject, then I don’t know what is.
Kait, Victor’s Village – Showing them hunting together explains in itself that they’ve developed a relationship as hunting partners. HOW they became hunting partners isn’t really that important.
Savanna, HGFiresideChat – This complaint just confuses me, since Katniss and Gale are shown hunting in the beginning of the film. When Katniss says goodbye to Gale, she cries out, “Don’t let them starve!” This implies that he has already been helping her provide for her family.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Katniss and Gale were more than enough for one movie. I don’t know, I think you’re getting distracted from the main point of this movie.
Complaint #22 – They never touched on Katniss’ father who taught her how to hunt.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Now here’s one part where I think people who want things thoroughly explained to them without having to really observe the movie will be confused. There’s only hints about his absence, all done visually. Sure, there’s voiceover of Katniss explaining it, but you just have to see it in the details, a lot of it done through her tracker jacker hallucination/flashback scene, when you see the miners, the explosion, the photo of a man on the mantle, Katniss’ mom being catatonic. It doesn’t have to explain that she learned the hunting through her father. The audience can come to that conclusion if they want to or not, it doesn’t affect her outcome in the Games either way.
Tiffany, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – While there isn’t an explicit explanation that Katniss’ father taught her how to hunt, the most important aspect of her father, how his death affected her, most definitely made it. How Katniss learned how to hunt isn’t important for the film; the fact that she can hunt is. A throwaway line from her just to hit on that point would’ve been too out there, and considering how little Katniss speaks of her father out loud in the books, it wouldn’t have been in line with what her character would say.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – In my personal opinion, the job of that part in the book was to tell us how close Katniss was to her dad. I think the broken, fragmented images and memories that Katniss sees during the Tracker Jacker scene was effective enough.
Complaint #23 – The wolf-mutts seen were supposed to have the eyes of the dead tributes.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Apparently Gary Ross explained why he decided to forgo that detailing, and I can understand it given the medium. The pacing of that part was so critical, that to have them slow the momentum down during that point just to have Katniss and Peeta point it out to each other, and then all of a sudden have Cato rush in and start attacking wouldn’t have made sense. I mean, he was there before they were, right? Would he wait until they finished observing the details of their face before he interrupted them to kill them? Because they would have basically had to give them time and us time to thoroughly look at those vicious faces and make the connection. It works great in a book because books are all about the details, but not so much in a movie. Yeah, it would have been cool to really see those eyes, or in regards to the concept art, those faces, but I was still impressed with what they looked like. Read about Ross’ explanation and see the concept pictures by Ian Joyner.
Adam, HG Fireside Chat – This would have been an extremely costly endeavor, and it also might have caused The Hunger Games to lose its PG-13 rating. My guess is that they gave it a shot and thought it looked bad. And really, there’s enough brutality and viciousness in this film without it. It doesn’t really take away from the grandeur of the film, while leaving a little more for fans who have read the book to think about.
Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – I have to admit that I was initially disappointed with the mutts. The bit in the book about using the dead Tribute’s eyes in the mutts was one of the most haunting parts of the book’s finale. However, the more I thought about it, the more I was thankful they left the eyes alone. For the audience that didn’t read the books, there’s no way they would be able to pick up the significance behind the eye color unless it was explained to them. There’s already a running joke on Caesar and Cladius interrupting the Games to describe what Tracker Jackers are. Can you imagine them explaining about the eyes in the heat of the moment? It wouldn’t have worked.
Luly – I was surprised about them leaving that out at first but now I consider that it wasn’t that bad. If they had included it, there would have been more explanation and time needed for Katniss to realize this, for the audience to realize it and to build the emotions on that situation. The use of the eyes was an element that helped show how cruel and vicious the Capitol was, which in the movie was already reinforced by Snow’s and Seneca’s conversations, by Seneca’s Nightlock scene and by Cato’s epiphany and how he came to understand, as a career tribute, that he was no more than another element in the games. With all those new elements, the idea of how cruel the Capitol is was explained without the need of going overboard with the mutts.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – Even in the hands of the most talented of CGI artists, this could have gone from an intense and terrifying moment to an extremely fake one.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I did think there was a shiny green glint in one of the wolves’ eyes. Okay, maybe I’m stretching it too far and I’ll admit that did cross my mind, I don’t think it really mattered in front of the assault.
Complaint #24 – They never touched on how Cinna and Katniss formed a close bond.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Again, I’m not sure what this person means by saying that they “never touched” on the Cinna and Katniss relationship. In the books, it’s all in her mind that she likes Cinna, something that she doesn’t ever say it out loud, so Jennifer Lawrence is supposed to express that in her face, which I believe she does after Cinna tells her that he doesn’t see any point in costuming her in the traditional District 12 outfits tributes have worn in previous years. You can see that genuine subtle smile in her eyes and mouth, that expresses her appreciation of him. Then there’s that part when they hug and touch foreheads before she has to go in the cylinder. How is that not a display of a close bond?!
Luly – As many people has said already, this movie is more about showing than telling, and the way that Katniss behaved around Cinna in comparison to how she was around the rest of the people from the Capitol (for example Effie and Caesar) speaks for itself. She seemed to trust him and to be herself around him, she talked to him with honesty. The scene where she’s about to enter the arena is also very strong. They couldn’t include more than that, but I think it was enough.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I don’t agree with this at all. In a movie, you have to precise and to the point, and Katniss and Cinna had great scenes together. I was pretty happy with the portrayal.
Complaint #25 – That part of the uprising in District 11 doesn’t happen until later in the books!!
Jessi, TheFandom.Net – None of us know if this District 11 riot happened in the first book because Katniss didn’t know. It was one of the most intense, moving scenes I’ve ever watched and am convinced that this could very well be how and when it happened.
Kait, VictorsVillage.com – Do you think there’s only one uprising allowed per District? In fact, multiple uprisings makes more sense given the political climate.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – How do you know that didn’t happen at this point in the book? Isn’t it possible that Suzanne Collins decreed this happened in the first book? Naturally it’s Katniss’ point of view so she wouldn’t have known, and it most certainly would have explained the extremely tense tone in District 11 during the Victory Tour.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – I’m actually sure that IS what happened. The uprising is mentioned later in the books – you don’t really know when it took place.
Complaint #26 – Katniss should have narrated it because most of it was explained in her thoughts and it would have been so much better.
Kait, TheFandom.Net – No, it wouldn’t. Characters shouldn’t have to tell you how they’re feeling in a film. It’s a sign of a weak script. In this case, you can recognize Katniss’ internal conflict (especially about faking a relationship with Peeta in the arena) through earlier dialogue, her expressions, and subtle hints like Haymitch’s note. Isn’t that all much better than some cheap voiceover of Katniss saying “I have to pretend to be in love with Peeta to gain sponsors”? We sure think so!
Luly – Not only would the narrating have changed the mood of the movie COMPLETELY but it would have also taken out the opportunity for the audience to see things with their own eyes, so to speak. If you see this movie, even if you haven’t read the books, you are introduced into a world and shown its reality in a way that forces you to have your own opinion about it. Even if it’s a simple one like “the Capitol is bad”, nobody has told you that, you have seen it for yourself. It’s not showing you Katniss’ reality, it is showing you Panem’s reality, and I really liked how they managed that. In the books, as a reading experience, Katniss’ narration works. In the movie, it wouldn’t so much.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – Narrating for a whole movie is crap, people – a cop out. It’s a sign that the people in charge didn’t have a more creative way to get the message across to the audience.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – If that happened, the movie wouldn’t have been as successful as it actually turned out. Plain and simple. People go to watch the movie because they want to see things enacted, not thought out.
Complaint #27 – None of the characters seemed especially hungry to me.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Not every actor is willing to actually starve themselves for a role, especially with one that demands quite a bit of physical exertion as well. The idea that they were deprived is implied when you see the stark contrast of life in the districts as compared to the Capitol.
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – What does “hungry” look like to you? Did you expect to see emaciated bodies? Should the cast have starved themselves prior to filming in order to get into character?
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Did you see District 12’s citizens? The look on them? Those two children staring out of the window? Is that normal?
Complaint #28 – Katniss knowing about the berries being poison at the end was just thrown in there.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Katniss knowing about the berries isn’t a big deal. Besides, do we have to know how she knows about the berries? She’s a hunter, which was shown in the beginning of the movie and during her time in the arena, so she should know more than the average tribute in knowing how to survive in the woods.
Jessi, TheFandom.Net – I had no idea anyone was complaining about this. We know Katniss spends a lot of time in the woods and seems pretty well versed in all things wilderness. I didn’t think twice about this, plus it makes no difference.
Tiffany, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – It’s obvious from her hunting and how Katniss navigates herself in the arena (touching the moss and ground for water, for example) that she has outdoor survival skills. A big component of typical survival skills is knowing what’s poisonous and what’s not. It isn’t a huge leap that she would know that the berries Peeta picks are poisonous.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Doesn’t change anything one bit. Not the Games, the uprising, the victors in any way.
Perri, Movies.com – Perhaps, but would you rather have had the concept thrown in your face? What makes the incident so stirring is that when Katniss remembers she still has the berries, we’re remembering with her. Sure, the film version runs through Nightlock 101 rather quickly, but it still gets the point across – they’re deadly.
Complaint #29 – Her knowledge of the forest was barely implied.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Her knowledge of the forest is implied when they first show her hunting in the woods and throughout her time in the arena. This was not “barely.”
Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – In the opening hunting scene, Katniss got the deer to move by launching a rock with her bow. She used crumpled up leaves to see which way the wind was blowing. She walked on a log with ease without falling. None of that stuff I would be able to do, which showed me that she knew way more about the forest than most people would!
Luly – You can see how well she knows the forest in the hunting scenes she did on her own and with Gale, in the way Gale mentions that they could run away and survive out there, in those moments in which she was alone in the arena or taking care of either Rue or Peeta, in the fact that she instantly knew about the berries being poison, in how she looks at the forest scene she sets when she’s about to go to sleep in the Capitol, in the way she moved through the forest, to hunt and to hide, in the way she knew where was the safest place to hide from the careers, in the fact that the careers couldn’t catch her in the forest…and I can go on. There are so many implications of how well she knew the forest.
Savanna, HGFiresideChat – Actually, I think her knowledge of the forest was totally obvious. Think back to the beginning of the film, when Katniss goes hunting in the woods. We get to watch her track that deer every step of the way, and it’s clear that she knows what she’s doing. Also, in the arena, we see how Katniss uses the earth to lead her to water. AND, she immediately recognizes the berries as nightlock.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – The entire sequence of the movie exactly implies that. Then, at the Capitol, when Katniss sees the image of the forest, I thought it was a perfect set up. Not sure what else they could have added, this did the job.
Complaint #30 – I think they should have kept the moment in the book where Peeta and Katniss argued about her going to get the medicine and then they kissed! That would have got them a nomination for best kiss I think!
Kait, TheFandom.Net – They DID keep that moment. It definitely happened. Either way, an MTV award for Best Kiss is not the main goal of the film.
Luly – I think the movie knew where to put the focus in this story. With the limited time they had, more limited than the book, they had to choose which ideas to develop more and which to keep in a second place. The focus of this story was in the situation of Panem and the people in it rather than who kisses who. Besides, I think that the development of the wrong idea and the misplaced focus would have been precisely in a movie whose main goal is an MTV award. For best kiss, no less. I prefer a good movie, thank you very much.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – They kissed enough. Moments between Katniss and Peeta are definitely important seeing how it all ultimately ends, but dragging out the cave scene in the movie would have actually gotten boring, trust me.
Complaint #31 – They should have kept when Peeta gets upset when he finds out that Katniss kissing him was all for the Games.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – I don’t know if I can say they should have kept that part in the book, and if that would have made a difference for Catching Fire. I’m thinking it won’t make a difference for the sequel, because you can definitely tell that he knows Katniss didn’t really feel the same way for him as he did for her, especially when they’re holding hands in victory at the end in District 12. It’s subtle, but it’s enough to let us know he’s trying to hide his hurt. That’s the thing about movies and acting, you want to rely on your actors to portray what is felt in the character, and I think Josh did fine with that, so it worked.
Aldrin, DownWithTheCapitol – The Hunger Games is a movie that can show and not tell. I didn’t notice at first, but Peeta’s eyes when he sees Katniss spot Gale in the District 12 crowd at the end shows that Peeta is starting to put the puzzle pieces together and figure out that perhaps their love was just for the Games. Not to mention the previous scene on the train ride home shows how different Katniss and Peeta feel about the Games when Katniss is eager to forget about what happened, but Peeta doesn’t want to.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – Gary Ross does not take the audience for a fool. Peeta’s line, “I don’t want to forget” speaks volumes about Katniss’ conflicting emotions combined with the last scene with Katniss catching Gale’s eye and holding Peeta’s hand.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Gale’s appearance at the end, and how detached Katniss is to Peeta in the train was more than a subtle hint. It’s a movie, and non fans need to also know we’re coming out with a second movie.
Complaint #32 – There was no talk of Katniss’ love for the dried plum & lamb stew
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Ah, the lamb stew. There are many minor details that Suzanne Collins wrote about, this is one of them. For the sake of focusing on the major parts, this had to be tossed.
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – I’ll admit that I was a little sad that the lamb stew didn’t get a mention, but they HAD to cut out some minor details…and unfortunately, the lamb stew isn’t a crucial component of the overall plot. There are so many scenes of them eating in the movie — just pretend that in one of them Katniss is chowing down on the stew!
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – This actually doesn’t even look like a legit issue. How is Katniss’ love for the dried plum and lamb stew effective in the entire plot? Little things about a person that don’t necessarily ‘define’ that person – could be ignored and no harm done.
Complaint #33 – Haymitch wasn’t drunk enough and was way too helpful ….That is definitely a far sway from the books.
Kait, TheFandom.Net – False! Haymitch was plenty drunk. He’s simply a high-functioning alcoholic, which allows him to navigate through life on a day-to-day basis in a semi-constant state of drunkenness. He’s described this way in the book as well. Though it is not seen in the books, Haymitch is the District 12 mentor and that fact that he schmoozes with Capitol citizens and strategizes the keep his tributes alive is discussed often. How else are Katniss and Peeta getting gifts and sponsors when that all goes through Haymitch? The only difference is that we actually get to see it in the movie!
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – I went into the movie worried that Haymitch wouldn’t be drunk enough, since Woody Harrelson had implied in a couple of interviews that he’d be “playing down” the drunk aspect of the character. I was pleasantly surprised, however, at Haymitch’s level of drunkenness throughout the film. His fondness for alcohol was apparent, especially on the train. I don’t think they could have made him any drunker without also turning him into something of a caricature. Remember, this movie was also made for people who haven’t read the books, and these non-book readers need to understand that Haymitch isn’t just an oblivious lush.
Courtney, WelcomeToDistrict12.com – Way too helpful? I think as readers of the books, we can agree that in the arena Haymitch does more than just be helpful to Katniss. I would also like to draw attention to Haymitch’s best moment in the film, in which you see the pain reflected on Haymitch’s face when Katniss is in excruciating pain from the burn on her leg. I honestly did not think we would see this from Haymitch until Catching Fire at least. That is Haymitch’s true character.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Haymitch was awesome! And we never see him outside of Katniss’s point of view, we don’t know how helpful he might be in his sober moments. But guess what? We do know. All the help Katniss gets was from Haymitch, and I assume he was sober enough.
Complaint #34 – I can’t believe they put in the death of Seneca! THAT IS A SECOND BOOK EVENT!
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – Not so. Crane’s death happened sometime between the first and second book. Obviously, it happened right after Katniss & Peeta’s victory. Makes sense. For the film to be a standalone, this was the perfect place to put it.
Jessi, TheFandom.Net – Another beautiful added scene! I always assumed, actually, that this is about when Seneca was killed. It’s just after the games, I don’t know why President Snow would keep him alive once he realizes he wants him dead. We don’t find out about it until the second book because of our limitations of only knowing what Katniss knows. This was such a clever addition to the film, even if it isn’t accurate I don’t care!
Aldrin, Down With The Capitol – Just because the execution of Seneca Crane was mentioned in the second book doesn’t mean that’s when it happened. That’s merely when Katniss found out about it. As mentioned, it would make more sense to execute Seneca promptly after the end of the 74th Games, to send a message that he shouldn’t have let Katniss and Peeta upstage The Capitol the way they did. It was actually a perfect conclusion to the additional scenes between Seneca and Snow.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – How do you KNOW it was a second book event? Second book is when Katniss hears of it. For all we know, Seneca Crane might have been executed the very second Games promotion wrapped up. I cannot emphasize enough on how brilliant this part of the movie was.
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – I could spend days gushing about this scene. It was absolutely brilliant! But aside from just being generally incredible, its inclusion was also a very STRATEGIC choice on the part of Gary Ross/whoever came up with the idea. Since many people watching the movie will NOT have read the books, they needed to make sure that the film ended in a suspenseful, intriguing way that would lead into Catching Fire. This scene shows us — the audience — that Snow is pissed. That his threats aren’t meaningless. That even though the Games are over and Katniss and Peeta are Victors, they’re not actually safe. No one is.
Luly – First of all, the news of his death are known in the 2nd book, it doesn’t necessarily happen in the 2nd book. Second of all, the fact that they included that scene worked in different levels: it allowed you to see how cruel the Capitol is, how President Snow works and how dangerous it is for those who don’t do as he says. That little scene there on its own pictured Snow’s personality completely and the way that the Capitol behaves, not to mention the way in which they manage what whoever didn’t do as they expected. Being included in the first movie also shows it as a “conclusion” of the 74th Games, you understand that something like that wasn’t supposed to happen and it’s a total anomaly, that what Katniss and Peeta did was something as important as to kill who was unable to stop them. You need that idea for the end of the first movie.
Complaint #35 – Gale is cuter than Peeta in the movie… I wished they had found someone as attractive for Peeta’s role. In the book, I was rooting for Peeta ( I envisioned him as someone more charming and taller), but in the movie, Gale took my heart.
TFGeekGirl, TheFandom.Net – That was YOUR vision. Gary and crew were trying to find someone who could actually be Peeta, not someone who is cuter than Gale (and some may even argue that Josh is cuter than Liam). Josh IS Peeta. Besides, if you were rooting for Peeta in the book just because you imagined him cuter than Gale, then I think you may want to sort out your priorities on what makes a loveable character.
Kait, VictorsVillage.com – Peeta isn’t all that attractive, you say? What the hell have YOU been smoking?
Adam, TheFandom.Net – Caesar Flickerman certainly thought Peeta was handsome, and even as a guy, I can tell that he is. Besides — Peeta is never made out to be a heartthrob. He’s a good-looking guy in the “baker next door” sense. And Gale may very well be better-looking. That’s fine. Collins makes a point of stressing how girls like him. Peeta has other qualities.
Tanvi, Hunger Games Network – Love, Gale IS supposed to be hotter. Girls swooning over him and all that. He is the charmer in District 12, and it is clearly mentioned.
Also, please find something more out of this trilogy.
Savanna, HG Fireside Chat – Well, first of all, beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder, and I know plenty of girls (and guys) who would disagree with you and say that they prefer Josh Hutcherson to Liam Hemsworth. I happen to think Josh is adorable! But all that aside, isn’t Gale SUPPOSED to be cuter than Peeta? Katniss mentions that lots of girls are interested in him and it’s implied that he’s very attractive. Peeta, on the other hand, is never described as tall or handsome in the books. Katniss mentions that he has a “stocky” build, but that’s pretty much it.
Luly – I think that both the books and the movie would have preferred you to care about their thoughts and personalities rather than their looks, because these books and movie are more about ideas than aesthetics. But if you are going to prefer Gale (because of Liam’s looks) rather than Peeta (because of Josh’s looks), that is up to you and not a movie problem; just like if you preferred Peeta in the books because of how you pictured his looks, it’s up to you and nothing that Suzanne Collins wanted you to think.