Thursday, June 04, 2015

Mockingbird/ Mockingjay

Well, it didn't work out very well to watch the Mockinjay Part I movie almost back to back with To Kill a Mockingbird (the movie with Gregory Peck)! ;-)

Not only are the books and movie styles completely different, but movies made so many decades apart (half a century, in fact!) have incredibly different paces and techniques. So, yeah, it was almost a joke to do something like this, but it's not often that I go to the university library's Media Center to borrow DVDs (this time they had Bluray for Mockinjay, yay!!), so I got those two plus the documentary Hey, Boo which I don't know if I will finish. [Hey, if you're interested it will air again on July 10 on PBS to "honor" the July 14  release of the prequel Go Set a Watchman!].

It seems that the To Kill a Mockingird screenplay was hailed as one of the best adapted screenplays of all time and I think it's OK, but I was truly pleasantly surprised by how great and how "faithful"  to the book Mockinjay Part I was! It didn't end exactly where I'd thought and said it would end (I think that would have been way too much suspense!), but almost. It was so faithful that they even showed the lake and certain areas of District 12 that had not been shown in the previous two movies. I really really liked it!

Of course I hadn't read the Suzanne Collins book as recently as I had when I watched the first two movies, which I basically didn't like at all, particularly the first one, The Hunger Games. They cut too much of the book (in the words of my 13 year old son who has read them all and watched the films with us, in the first movie, it feels as if the games themselves last for a few days, not over two excruciating weeks). Catching Fire was slightly better, but still not that great -- too little time was spent showing the Capitol, among other faults. Their portrayal of how they controlled the Arena with a model was cool, though, as was having a view of the background of what's going on. After watching Mockingjay (on Tuesday night), I re-read the ending of the book again and I think it's pretty great. I hope the last film won't disappoint!

My husband worked on reading the trilogy over many months (maybe close to 6 months) and he finished a bit over a month ago and thought the author did a fantastic job, particularly in portraying post-traumatic stress disorder. Not a lot of time in the movie(s) shows that, even because the films don't have a first person narrator, but we get to see the effects on Katniss. Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress. Phillips Seymour Hoffman is splendid and I don't know exactly how they'll get around not having him in the sequel. He only appears at the end, so I guess they'll have Haymith say his lines.

As for To Kill a Mockinbird it also cuts most of the novel, no scenes in the school, barely any relationship with the neighbor ladies, no aunt Alexandra, but it keeps the main scenes and Peck and the girl actress who plays Scout are splendid. I think we're spoiled by the way movies are made nowadays, though. Thankfully, great books transcend the passage of time and the novel moved me greatly.

Next, I'll blog about Lois Lowry's books which I read last week (The Giver & companion books).

1 comment:

jo(e) said...

I'm almost always disappointed when I read a book and then see a movie based on that book. What I see on the screen never matches what was in my head.