Will the Movie Be True to the Book?

The question for a movie based on a great book is how good can the movie get? However, many critics are asking whether the movie will be able to surpass the book. Mockingjay is considered one of the weaker books in the series with many negative reviews on the ending. Hopefully Mockingjay try to redeem the flaws in the final book.

mockingjay film vs book

One of the fan’s biggest gripes about Mockingjay is Katniss’s breakdown that began at the end of book two, and endured through half of the next one. Even when she got back on her feet, so to speak, she seemed ever in danger of breaking down again no matter the help of her friends and family. She did a three-sixty from the tough-as-nails, fight to the finish fighter we knew before. Will the film portray Katniss as broken as she was in the book, or make her a stronger person?

If Katniss did a three sixty, Peeta transformed into an entirely different character in Mockingjay. In Hunger Games and Catching Fire he was sweet, polite, witty, and likable. However after being hijacked he’s hostile, miserable, cynical, suspicious and has gone from loving Katniss to suspecting she wants to kill him—and wanting to dish out the same before she can do it. How will Hutcherson portray Peeta? A little like the Peeta we knew and loved or, more faithfully to the novel, the “evil-mutt version of himself.”

The pain in the future that was hinted at in the first two books finds its breeding grounds in the final one. Katniss is broken, Finnick is broken, the other Tributes are rescued and they’re tortured and broken. Katniss’s family seems to be doing well until Prim is killed, and then the remaining family including a howling Buttercup are broken just after they were slowly on the mend. Collins effectively portrays pain, so much so that the reader will want to curl into the fetal position alongside Katniss.

In the first film, Ross skipped over many of the painful elements of the movie. District Thirteen felt like the lower part of a nice city more than the third world country it resembled in the novel. The Hunger Games felt a bit more gamey than it did in the book. So the question is, will that trend continue with the new director and after that with a kinder, more liberated type of movie? Critics say that maybe a bit more lightheartedness in the movie wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

With two movies and five hours with which to portray Mockingjay, the director will have ample time to more accurately stay faithful to the novel. They can pore over Katniss’s crushing reality, and all the places she went and suffered for. There’s enough in the novel that they don’t have to make up stuff the book lacks such as innocence and romance. The only question is…should they?