So I went to see Catching Fire yesterday… and it was actually, honestly, a very good representation of the book!
Jena Malone and Sam Caflin nailed their parts. I was hesitant about associating Sam with Finnick, but he pulled it off amazingly, capturing the anguish that all the victors shared towards the Games and still playing the lightheartedness and flirty Finnick that readers have fallen in love with. Jena was astonishing as well. Perhaps it was the way her voice sounds, but she could speak emotions with her voice and her appearance and the jaunty eyebrows gave her a ruthless and dark look to her.
Obviously, they cut out some parts. The bread parachute from District 4, the real reason for Gale’s whipping. But those are small things! And nothing like what was missed in the first Hunger Games, which was sort of a letdown. The only thing I wished they did better was the addition of the two girls from District 13, who introduced them to it. Instead, the movie just blurted out that District 13 existed at the very end of the play, without giving any background. Other than that, I am completely satisfied.
Also, I enjoyed many of the shot perspectives. The hanging of Plutarch Heavensbee as imagined by Katniss was much more creepy than I personally assumed it was. The reactions of Katniss and Peeta towards finding out about the Quarter Quell. Even Effie, trying to hold back her tears, as she said goodbye was a heart wrenching moment.
The movie left me feeling exhausted, but in a good way. Not sure if I’d watch it again, but simply amazing by itself. Truly, it does the book justice… almost. 🙂
Also, shout out to Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta to perfection always. And a gracious salute towards the ever-wonderful Jennifer Lawrence.
Hmmm, I think this shall be my last one, because I can’t get too overexcited about Harry Potter, cuz everyone will think that I’m a geek. Which I am. Somewhat.
Harry Potter – Harry Potter had it. The last book? Better than in my dreams. Except for all deaths. She shouldn’t have killed off Fred. I legit cried. Anyways, off from that side note, it was an amazing revelation for me. An absolute joy to read. And what really fulfilled it for me, perhaps, was the fact that I didn’t have ‘end of book series – depression’ after it. I felt fully satisfied because it had that kind of ending. The revelation of Snape, the 19 years later chapter, the idea of Harry as the last Horcrux, the use of Neville to kill of Nagini, Harry using Expelliarmus, the entire search for the Horcruxes. Amazing. The End.
Hunger Games – I liked the first two books. It was an incredibly interesting concept and I feel like Suzanne Collins did quite a good job with them. The intriguing use of the berries, the exploration into the depths of human nature in order to have stability, the mystery of President Snow (hmmmm mmm yummy stuff right there). The third book, unfortunately, killed it for me. Rather than wrapping it up on a high note, it left me feeling sorry I read it. She built the love triangle so strongly in the first two books and she suddenly solved it with a sidenote – Gale left for the Capitol. At least half of the book is devoted to the strange murmurings of Katniss’s thoughts… and that left what was a teen dystopian novel into a psychology chaos. The death of Prim. It kind of took away from the main aspects of the novel in total, because that was really all Katniss strived for in life. It would be very similar to the death of Hermione, or somebody. The book just felt fragmented after it. And finally, the actual ending was ambiguous. It wasn’t satisfying and didn’t fully show whether or not the Games had left for good and whether there would be any change. All that it verified was that Katniss and her family were going to be safe.
I wrote these books primarily based on my memory, which can be with fault at times, so please, call me out for any mistake! 🙂
Harry Potter – You could tell that JK Rowling put her entire heart into writing Harry Potter. Everything fit perfectly into place. The revelation about Snape – my absolute favorite part of the entire series, by the way, was prefigured from the very first book. The insistence by Dumbledore that he had a solid reason for the goodness of Snape. The way Rowling carefully crafted Snape to be someone hated by the reader, only to, after the book series ended, be revered forever (or at least by me) Every single book had no inconsistency and instead, had almost boundless subtle hints throughout that all managed to come together in the end – another example, The Prisoner of Azkaban and the fact that Harry himself saved himself from the dementors.
Hunger Games – Hunger Games fit too, however, there wasn’t anything in the beginning that substantiated the end even more. Everything seemed to happen one at a time and Katniss had to face it one at a time. It just seemed very linear to me. I liked Catching Fire because I thought that the clock Hunger Games was a very interesting concept, however, Mockingjay just seemed a deluge of events happening, obstacles coming one at a time, with no significance or buildup. To tell the truth, I was very disappointed with the last book. Usually the last book is the triumphant end, etc. etc, as the protagonist prevails and whatnot, but all the problems for Mockingjay seemed to go away, oh so conveniently, and at times unrealistically. It was good. But it wasn’t amazing, like HP.
The “Likability” of the Main Character
Harry Potter – Harry was easy to like. He was courageous and always stuck up for his friends. He wasn’t super cool and he wasn’t cocky. He wasn’t amazing at everything, and because of that, many readers bonded with him as the unlikely hero, one who had been thrust into his position. He represented everything that was good straight from the start, from the goodness of his parents to their great love.
Hunger Games – Katniss was likable at first. Everybody respected her for her courage to volunteer for Prim and the wonderful description of her certainly helped – her brown hair and her olive skin, etc. etc. People liked the strong female protagonist concept and the fact that she could fend for herself. However, going through the books, she became less and less likable and Peeta more and more. And if you don’t like the main character, the books are less satisfying. Because the main character has this great obstacle to overcome, the readers must be invested in the protagonist to overcome and win. By the end of the series, however, readers were getting annoyed with Katniss and due to this, they stopped caring about what happened. She became incredibly paranoid about who to trust and who not to trust. She did not trust Peeta or anyone else in her life that tried to help her. She pushed everyone away. She was selfish and would put everyone else’s life on the line. For example, the ending of Hunger Games. When it was told that there would only be one winner, she automatically wanted to kill Peeta. Peeta, on the other hand, had something entirely different planned. That is a powerful insight into her character.
There is a huge emphasis on the likability of the main character. Even if the main character is evil and awful, the author has to try and spin it so that the reader always sides with them. It’s difficult to enjoy a book in which most of the time is spent in exasperation over the faults of the main character. That is my first reason as to why I like Harry Potter better!
Everybody thought that Hunger Games was the next Harry Potter… and in a way, it was. They made movies. The casting was a huge deal. People cried and screamed whenever the next book came out. Suzanne Collins was revered in readers’ eyes as the next J.K. Rowling. The next billionaire. Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson were scrutinized and their acting skills questioned.
And as soon as the comparisons start, the question of which one is better came up over and over again. While many appraise them as equals, I personally believe that there is no comparison.
HARRY POTTER FOR THE WIN.
Now. I’m not biased. Honestly.
I read Harry Potter and I read Hunger Games. I absolutely loved them both. Because they came on kind of separately, I was able to read them each separately and count down the days for the next book separately. I have all 7 books of Harry Potter and okay, only two out of three of the books of Hunger Games.
But coming from a reader and coming from a literary critic point of view, (which I’m not qualified technically for saying … ) there are several reasons I believe Harry Potter to be the better series. I’ve decided to do (probably) a series of posts for each reason why I think Harry Potter is better – in the most respectful way, I promise.
And this post is getting too long, so I’ll do it tomorrow or some other time haha.