6 Big Changes In Catching Fire That Make It Better Than The Book
The people behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire aren't stupid-- they know that fans of the book are turning out in droves and that they're going to demand to see all the highlights of the book they love. Nobody's going to recast Finnick as a frumpy woman, no one's going to leave out the acid mist in the arena, and everything's going to happen in the right order to set up the action of Mockingjay (in two parts, no less!).
But no book ever gets adapted to the screen with 100% accuracy, and even more so than The Hunger Games, Catching Fire risks a few changes that make an enormous difference in the quality of the story. Some of the changes are holdovers from the first film-- we see conversations between President Snow and the Head Gamemaker that didn't exist in the book, and Katniss's endless internal monologue becomes Jennifer Lawrence's incisive performance. But a few others are specific to this story, and make an enormous difference in how effective the movie is, from using basic props and camera work to say things without dialogue to adding key characters in scenes where they can make a lot of impact. Below are the 56 most important changes that alter Catching Fire for the better; let us know which changes you noticed in the comments below.
President Snow threatens Katniss with images, not words. In the book, when Snow comes to visit Katniss in District 12, he ends their tense conversation by saying "By the way, I know about the kiss"-- a nauseatingly immature thing to say, making him sound more like a jealous middle-schooler than a powerful tyrant. In the movie, he reminds her to continue toeing the line and leaves her with a little video projector that plays footage of the kiss-- a reminder that Capitol eyes are everywhere, and a way to imply that he actually cares about Katniss's feelings for Gale without having to sound ridiculous by saying it out loud. The entire Hunger Games series has been great about visualizing moments that Suzanne Collins takes forever to describe in the books, and this minor twist is a fantastic example.
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