I honestly don’t think I have ever hated a movie more than I hated the Hunger Games. I had fallen in love with the novels and had built up so much hope for the movie and left heart broken (slightly exaggerated obviously, but still, it sucked). However, this is not a blog post about why I liked the book better. Shortly after watching the movie I began to rant to a friend about it. But he disagreed with me, strongly. He had never read the books and had loved the movie for what it offered. His argument made me reevaluate my original opinion. I had judged the movie based on the book instead of as a completely separate work. Although I still liked the books better than the movie, the second time I watched it I evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the media in comparison to the strengths and weakness of the novel media.
The first thing I found deals with how each media expresses the thoughts and feelings of the characters. In the books, my absolute favorite aspect had always been the psychological trauma that the characters had gone through and how their thought processes changes as the plot goes on (I even wrote a paper on this in cognitive studies last semester). I loved the monologues of Katniss just thinking in her head and describing the world around her. This is what I would say is a strength of the book media. However, the movie media doesn’t allow for this. They must portray the protagonists’ thoughts through dialogue or flashbacks or other strategies. This is a weakness of the movie media.
The next thing I found deals with internal depictions while reading. I personally have the tendency to ignore descriptions of characters and imagine them completely opposite than how the author tells me too. I believe this is a weakness of the book media because it is completely up to the reader to interpret the author’s vision. However, in the movie you are told what you see, literally. There is no room for interpretation. Everything is planned out. I believe this is a strength of the media because it has the power to truly capture the author’s vision.
After having this experience with the Hunger Games and realizing that each media has boundaries, I will never view a remediation in the same way. From now on, I will evaluate each version as its own art work.