I just saw a Hunger Games preview on TV last night, and my question is: why is Katniss giving her sister Prim the mockingjay pin? Is the movie just getting rid of the character of Madge, the fellow District 12 resident who gives Katniss the pin in the book? Is the movie using the pin as more of a Katniss-Prim emblem to underscore their relationship, rather than as a reminder of her community? Hmm, a little hard to judge from just a preview snippet, but that kind of change doesn’t bode well for the movie adaptation.
I devoured the Hunger Games books last year, and, given how I feel the Harry Potter movies are such weak, almost lifeless representations of the beloved books, I’m apprehensive about the Hunger Games movies. I’m not happy with some of the casting choices: I think Robert Downey Jr. would’ve made a much better Haymitch (Entertainment Weekly called that last year before the film was cast, and I totally agree). Lenny Kravitz is gorgeous and all, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to pull off Cinna’s sinuous, watchful subversiveness. Armie Hammer looks more like Peeta to me than Josh Hutcherson. Gale should be (figuratively) leaner, darker, and hungrier (hah!) than Liam Hemsworth, someone like a young Christian Bale.
Anyway, these are all minor gripes which will be totally moot if the movies turn out to be awesome. Suzanne Collins’ books examine larger issues that I worry about the film capturing, examinations which make the books so haunting and powerful and intelligent. *SPOILER ALERT* Will the films address the issues of societal inequality, good government, power and its potential to corrupt, the failures of revolutions, and the lingering trauma of war? One could write a thesis on how the story carries echoes of the fall of Rome and the Russian revolution. Most importantly, will the films do justice to Katniss Everdeen, to her fierce independence, sense of duty, and capacity for love? Unlike some other recent teen heroines (ahem, Bella Swan), her only goal in life isn’t just to be with a boy she loves; Katniss is ready to fight and sacrifice for her family, her community, and ultimately, a whole new society.