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I am reading The Hunger Games
According to the Kindle Web Reader, I'm about 80% through it. I have some thoughts

One thing which strikes me about the book is how incredibly difficult it would be to film accurately.

There are many scenes which are described in vivid visual detail which would be very impressive on the big screen. I can't help but to read parts of it and go "I can see that" and "This is why they wanted to make a movie of it", etc. I can read it and see the cinemagraphic potential.

On the other hand, the main character spends tremendous portions of the book knowing she is being filmed, and intentionally being deceptive towards the hidden cameras and her unwanted audience. Her feelings, emotions, and plans are important to us and to the story, yet she is deliberately concealing them -- from watchers who would have the same vantage point as us. How do you show that? By making her comically bad at concealing it (possible: we never actually see stuff from the hidden watcher's view, just hers, so she could be trying to conceal her inner state, and failing)? By adding voice-over? By adding dialog (difficult, she spends most of the time alone, and it would be picked up by the hidden watchers) or talking to herself (not only would it be picked up the hidden watchers, it would be out of character based on her history)?

I have not seen the movie, and from some reviews, the movie pulled some punches in order to get a PG-13 rating. I have also heard the movie lost this inner state, probably for exactly the reasons I've mentioned above. I suspect it also lost the incidental nudity that happens a few times.

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What do you think about the U.S. commentary?

What do you mean? The commentary the author is making by setting her story in a post-US North America? I have issues with her world-building, but since (as others have pointed out) the story is a fable, it's understandable that her setting is fabulous.

The commentary she is making about reality programming and our live for violence? In searching for parallels I envisioned the setting more analogous to Imperial Rome than the US.

The commentary in the US about the movie/books? I've been avoiding it for the most part. I get bits of it when it comes in through other channels (eg, a blogger I normally read brings the movie up). I totally missed any press about the books before the movie came out.

Yes, everything you said. But all movies based on books will have that problem. It's hard to show what a character would think/feel without voice overs (which I almost always find a bit cheesy, anyway).

I thought that tHG movie did a fairly good job of keeping true to the source material. The capital looked almost as pretty and fantastic as I imagined it to be, the characters were well cast, and the games were EXACTLY as I imagined them (with the exception of the mutts who you won't meet for another 15% of the book). Well, it was more violent in my head and most of the violence in the movie was implied as apposed to explicitly shown. But as you said, PG-13 rating... also, it's based on children's / YA books and making a movie too gory for the target audience of the BOOKS to read would be ridiculously poor planning on the studio's part.

The in-Katniss's-head-while-she-knows-that-she's-being-watched thing was a little different. They show little subtle things in how she talk to people while not on film (Cinna and Peeta, etc.), there's one moments-before-entering-the-arena scene where she's physically shaking, they show her reactions to things that happen / emotions suddenly change as she either loses her shit or tries to cover up the fact that she's just lost her shit, etc.

It's not a perfect rendition, but I think that they did a damn good job putting the movie on film while not losing the spirit of the story or changing the characters. It's well worth watching once you finish the book. :)

I've finished. Now I should get back to work.

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