As avid fans of Suzanne Collins‘ work, we’ve been holding our breath about whatever changes have inevitably made to adapt The Hunger Games for the big screen. Of course, the changes are necessary, but will they be the right changes? The new clip out on Yahoo!, featuring Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Cinna’s (Lenny Kravitz) first meeting, is a promising indication of how the adaptation works.
In the book, Katniss gradually explains to readers the history of the games, how the opening ceremonies work, with the tributes representing the “flavor” of their district, and how humiliating District 12’s coal miner costumes normally are. We’re inside her head as she braces herself for more of the same, “It’s always dreadful and does nothing to win favor with the crowd. I prepare myself for the worst.”
Thankfully, screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and director Gary Ross chose not to use a whole bunch of Katniss voiceover in this movie. Instead, a lot of exposition will have to be in the form of dialogue — and sometimes that sort of thing is awkward, since we can pretty much assume that both people talking already know what they’re telling each other. But we think Lawrence and Kravitz manage to make this scene more like the naturally uncomfortable encounter it should be. Though it’s a little less uncomfortable than in the book, since Katniss is in a paper hospital gown instead of stark naked. Here’s the dialogue, which is all entirely new:
“I’m sorry this happened to you,” Cinna says after they introduce themselves. “I’m here to help you in any way that I can.”
“Most people just congratulate me,” Katniss responds.
“I don’t see the point in that,” Cinna says. (In the book, this sentiment is expressed later, when he tells her, “How despicable we must seem to you.”)
“So, tonight, they have the tribute parade,” he continues in the movie. “They have to take you out and show you off to the world.”
“So, you’re here to make me look pretty?” she asks, a line we’ve heard in the trailer already.
“I’m here to help you make an impression. Usually they dress people in clothes from their district —”
“Yeah, we’re always coal-miners,” she interrupts, letting a little of her defiance come through.
“Yeah, but I don’t want to do that. I want to do something that they’re going to remember. Did they explain about trying to get sponsors?” he asks, again, revealing something we assume Katniss already knows, but it doesn’t really bother us, somehow.
“Yeah, but I’m not very good at making friends,” she admits.
Yes, we will, Cinna.
[Photo: Lionsgate via Yahoo!]