As with the Hunger Games book, there are a lot of differences between Catching Fire, the book, and Catching Fire, the movie.
A most interesting change in the movie, in my opinion, was the addition of President Snow’s granddaughter. She is not present at all in Catching Fire, the book, but she was added to the movie. I can see two good reasons that she was created as a character. For one, she seems to be used to tell the voice of the people in the Capitol throughout the movie. One example of this occurred when Snow asks her why she is wearing her hair in braids. Her response is that “everyone in school is wearing their hair this way, Granddad.” In another case, she talks about how much she would like to have a love like that of Katniss and Peeta. She truly seems to look up to Katniss, and in many ways, it serves to show just how little effect the Capitol’s attempts to destroy her are having. However, an alternative purpose for President Snow’s daughter is to show that even President Snow had a family to care about and to show that he does have a few good qualities underneath his despicable dictator personality (I really do not like President Snow).
President Snow and His Granddaughter
One of the first major differences I noticed between the book and the movie, very early in the movie, was during the party at President Snow’s mansion. When Katniss and Plutarch are first introduced in the book, he is wearing a watch and she sees a Mockingjay disappear on it, which she later remembers while she is in the games and the clock design of the arena becomes apparent. Plutarch’s watch is one of the first things that makes her realize that Plutarch may not be the Capitol slave that she originally believed him to be. I truly believe that this symbol should have been included in the movie, because it makes it much harder for the viewer to understand the behind the scenes Plutarch. Furthermore, it takes away a major chance for the movie to foreshadow Plutarch’s involvement in the rebellion. However, to be fair to the makers of the movie, it would have been a hard image to capture and do well.
Plutarch and Katniss Dancing – with the watch
A final important change that I want to talk about is the lack of Twill and Bonnie. In the book, Katniss runs into two runaways from District 8 in the woods outside of District 12. They fled their district after their families were killed in a factor explosion. Katniss gives them the food she packed for herself and they tell her that they are heading for District 13, which Katniss and most of the people in Panem believed was completely destroyed in the war that started the Hunger Games. However, Twill and Bonnie tell her that they have been using the same footage as the “Live” footage of District 13’s remains for years. She eventually watches for the footage and sees the Mockingjay wing and realizes that they could be right, although Haymitch tells her that she is looking to believe because she is desperate. The movie completely cuts Bonnie and Twill, thus removing this piece of information from the viewers.
Twill and Bonnie Fan Art
Another major change to the plot is in the scene where Katniss was fighting Enobaria in the book. In the book, Katniss had just realized that Finnick and Johanna were no longer her allies (or at least she thought). She was ready to kill Enobaria and fight to survive a little longer, but she remembers Haymitch telling her to remember who the real enemy is, implying that she needs to fight the Capitol and not the other tributes. However, in the movie they replace Enobaria with Finnick. At first, this choice did not make a lot of sense to me, but I read up on it because it bothered me. The main theory I found was that they replaced Enobaria with Finnick to show her anger at his perceived betrayal; and also because at Finnick is a much more strongly built character in the movie. The people watching the movie cared more if Finnick survived than they would have with Enobaria. I have to admit, once I thought about it more, it made the scene more intense and Finnick was a much better developed character than Enobaria in the film.
There were many other changes between the book and the movie, but those are some of the most essential. Another change includes the fact that once again, the Avox of the movie was deleted – Darius from District 12, who helped save Gale, was turned in Avox and forced to serve Katniss and Peeta in their tributes quarters. Further, in the book, Gale is whipped for being caught with a turkey from beyond the fence. In the movie, he is whipped for defending someone else in District 12. The movie also neglected to talk about the bread that Finnick and Johanna received as a warning of when they should be ready to escape – type of bread for the day and number of rolls for the time of day. Also, interesting to note, Peeta has his leg in the movie. He definitely has a prosthetic in the book, and also couldn’t swim. Nevertheless, there are too many differences to talk about each one, so that is where I will close for now.