And now that the DVD is out, I finally gave in and watched the film version of The Hunger Games (and that in turn means that you get stuck with a series of post on the subject, regarding both the books and the film). Over all I have to say that the film was a pretty big disappointment, though in a way it was also an interesting example of some of the difficulties inherent to the film portrayal of what is a first person narrative. Simply put, film is, almost by definition, a third person medium. In the book we see the world through Katniss’s eyes, in the film we actually see her and her interactions with that world, and that is a significant difference that is not easy to overcome. But let’s go over some of the differences between both versions, and what those differences mean for the story itself.
Two of the most obvious differences that are a byproduct of the change in perspective are the way in which in the film we have the characters of Claudius Templesmith and Caesar Flickerman filling in some background info that must still be communicated somehow –such as the details about the tracker jackers– and the way in which Haymitch included explicit notes with the gifts from the sponsors, whereas in the book we have Katniss working out their respective meanings on her own. Of course, in this second instance this has an unfortunate side effect in that it diminishes the character of Katniss to a certain extent. Continue reading Hungry for more