6 Big Changes In Catching Fire That Make It Better Than The Book
Far less time is spent in District 12. Maybe thanks to some weird commitment to spreading the Games over a calendar year, Suzanne Collins spends a lot of narrative time in District 12 in the book, with Katniss brewing plans to start a revolution, the arrival of the new Peacekeepers, Cinna bringing in wedding gowns, Katniss and Peeta working on the family's herbology book (seriously??) and, of course, Gale's whipping in the town square. Virtually everything but the whipping is left out of the movie, but it's impressive how much power these scenes manage to contain anyway-- screenwriters Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt deftly link Gale's whipping not to his poaching a wild turkey, but his defending the townspeople terrorized by the new peacekeepers. It leaves out some of the details that fans of the book might love, like the black coal dust erupting out of the Hob as it burns, but it allows the story to move on toward the Quarter Quell, where we all know it's headed.
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