I have been looking forward to watching this movie ever since Hunger Games came out. My favorite book of the trilogy, I hold this book to a higher standard when it comes to adapting it to the big screen.
You should know that before reading this, I’m going to talk about exclusive scenes from the movie/book so if you haven’t read/saw the movie then skip past the ** marked paragraphs. In those paragraphs, I will have information about the book/movie that would spoil something from the story.
This movie did not disappoint me.
Watching it, I was just in complete shock at how much of the book made it to the movie. For me, I am always so cynical that not everything made it the movie. I usually hate it the first time I see a book that I love adapted to the big screen (i.e. Harry Potter series), but for this one I loved it right from the get go.
They had so many quotes from the movie that I wonder if they literally just copied the book and pasted in on word to work the script. To me, I look for the lines from the book to the movie. I mean this is an adaptation of a book so it should have scenes/quotes/little details from the book that we as fans fell in love with.
My favorite adapted scene was the exchange between Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) on the beach when they talk about saving the other one. It’s one of those rare moments when Katniss lets her guard down and be vulnerable. Peeta had always had that ability to make her open up which is why I always rooted for him in the story.
**Another scene that fights with the best adapted scene is at the very end when Katniss realizes that they left Peeta behind in the arena and she attacks Haymitch (Woody Harrelson). That was straight from the book (except for one line that literally made me scream in excitement b/c it was amazing). As a fan of the book, this is the scene that convinced me that Katniss feels something more for Peeta, which obviously sets up her relationship with him in Mockingjay.
**My least favorite adapted scene is probably when Mags (Lynn Cohen) dies. The only reason why this is is because it could have easily been fixed with one line. When Finnick (Sam Claflin), Katniss, Mags, and Peeta are running from the fog, they all collapse as the fog touches them because of the poison. In the book, Mags sacrifices herself to save Peeta because Finnick can’t carry Peeta and her. In the movie, it felt rushed and I think one line from Finnick could have made me ok with it. If he would have just turned to Katniss and said ‘I can’t carry Mags and Peeta’ then Mags sacrifices herself. That would have made it so much better because then her intention would have been clearer.
I did have a small problem with the ending. In the last scene, after Gale talks with Katniss about District 12, they zoom into Katniss staring up into the camera and that’s where the end it. This is one adaptation that I wish was from the book. In the book, it ends right after Gale says a line and it really leaves you like ‘WTF’. This ending, reminded me of the ending in Breaking Dawn pt. 1 where Bella’s eyes open and they are red. For this one, it would have had more shock value if the last thing you hear is Gale’s line just like the book. It just makes me nervous about the Mockingjay split because I’m nervous they won’t have the cliffhanger ending.
All in all, it was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations that I have ever seen. It has heart and soul from the book into the movie and really develops the story and the rebellion. If this book is your favorite then this movie will probably be your favorite because it’s literally like watching the book unfold on screen.