The Hunger Games is a rare example of a book to film translation done well

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Photo by Juraj Gabriel on Unsplash

What makes the Hunger Games better than the rest?

This may be entirely personal but the translation of the characters from the book to the big screen is the best that I have seen. When I see Katniss on the screen it is like the character is talking to me through the book. In addition to this, I smile when I see parts of her speeches from the books included in the film dialogue, word for word.

Did it need four films?

No. For all my praise on the translation work that the team undertook in taking the Hunger Games from book to screen, they did not need four films. The first two work well and cover the necessary plot lines, whereas the following two entries, that cover the final book seems a little stretched.

A close second

The lord of the rings. This is a close second when it comes to great examples of books to films. The characters, much as those in the Hunger Games translation are close to their descriptions on the page. The plot development and sporadic choices of speeches projected on the screen are of similar value to those within the Hunger Games. There are many parallels between the two and so you might ask why The Lord of the Rings has been left behind.

Would it be better to focus on original concepts?

Yes. My personal view is that there is more than enough room for the book to film conversions but should we not be looking to focus on originality? This for me is key. When was the last time that you went to the cinema (pre-covid-19) to see a film that was original? The word original is used here to describe something that has not been translated from a book, a re-make of an original film or another sequel.

To conclude

The Hunger Games ticks more boxes than those that have proceeded it in my mind. It stays true to the source material, does not take liberties and projects characters that meet your expectations. In a world littered with book to film conversions that feel as though the work experience student has patched them together, the Hunger Games is a breath of fresh air.

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A writer of many things, all of which make him think or smile.

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