Hungry Like the Kat

Katniss's Favorite Lamb Stew

They didn’t seem very hungry.

I know that any review of the Hunger Games is going to involve a comparison to the book so I might as well start there. In the book by Suzanne Collins food plays a much more important role than in the movie. Don’t get me wrong there are some great scenes showing pictures of food on the big screen, but it doesn’t have the same emotional impact as the food did in the book. Hunger was a very real part of Katniss’s life in District 12 and feeding herself and her sister defined who she was. Sure she was a hunter, but she was more importantly a provider. The only hint of not having enough food in the movie is the flashback scene where Peeta throws the bread over to Katniss. It lacked punch for the very reason that we couldn’t remember why Katniss might be hungry.

There are two scenes in the book that I missed seeing in the movie. The first one is when they get on the train to the Capitol and there is so much food. More food than Katniss has ever seen, but they all just have normal conversations or go about their business of trying to figure out how they got where they are. In the book I could see Katniss and Peeta gulping down the new source of food and enjoying it despite its origins.

The other scene is when Katniss eats the Lamb and dried plum stew. In the book the stew is so important to her that she tells Stanley Tucci it is her favorite thing about the Capitol. It isn’t even mentioned in the movie or eaten as far as I could tell.

The characters seemed very oppressed, but they didn’t seem hungry.

Of course while this was an odd omission for a movie called the Hunger Games it didn’t matter in the end. In so many aspects of the story and the characters they captured the book on the screen. The run time for the movie is 142 minutes and I was captivated the whole time. I do wonder how the movie is viewed by those who haven’t read the book. Part of the enjoyment for me was seeing the characters I’d come to know made live.

And if you need any proof that there is hope for the future, The Hunger Games beat out the Three Stooges last weekend to hold its number one place at the box office.


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