The Best Cut Lines of “The Hunger Games”

The Best Cut Lines of “The Hunger Games”

None of my favorites made the film; did yours?

One of the things that breaks my heart the most when a book is adapted to a film is when my favorite lines are cut. Remember when Ginny Weasley spoke of Harry Potter’s supposed Hungarian Horntail tattoo—and her brother Ron’s pygmy puff? Yeah, it wasn’t important, but it was hilarious, one of the many small moments that build our characters as well as our love for the series.

The Hunger Games was no different here, and I wish that the favorite lines of fans had been taken into consideration before the movie was released. Just about every one of my favorite lines—aside from the simple “I volunteer!”, “Don’t let them starve,” and “Little duck”—was cut from the film, and any fan knows how disappointing that is. You really want to hear the characters say those phrases that we love so much!

So for those of you who didn’t read the book, here are a few of the best lines that you missed.

“She’s got…spunk! Not like you! Not like you!” Haymitch is drunk, staggering around on the stage as Katniss volunteers, which is both hilarious and sobering at once. Many of us were looking forward to this scene.

“He’s probably drunk, as usual.” Peeta and Katniss sort of snicker when Effie searches for Haymitch; then it is Effie—not Peeta—who reminds them (rather meanly) that he is their mentor, so they can make fun of him all they like but they won’t get help. Then Peeta helps the drunken mentor shower after he pukes everywhere on the train.

“It’s a bit warm for my taste. Why don’t you come up here?” I am paraphrasing here (you’d think I’d know this by heart after reading it so many times), but there is a wonderful scene when the careers get Katniss up the tree and she actually baits them, putting a show on for the audience instead of looking terrified like she does in the film. This was just one of the many ways they downplayed her strength in the movie that really, really disappointed me.

All of the conversation between Katniss and Rue. They are together for days and you get to learn about Rue’s district, as well as establish their friendship, which quickly deepens into a sisterly bond. We really, really missed this—as well as the bits between Rue and Madge, Katniss’s friend who was cut completely (because girls rarely have girl friends in films, right?).

“Come to finish me off, sweetheart?” Peeta’s dry remark when Katniss can’t find him in the dirt is my absolute favorite of the book. I love when she sees his blue eyes (how hard would that have been, by the way, to get Josh Hutcherson contacts?) poking out from the mud and demands, “Do that again!”

All of the cave dialogue. There’s lots of intimacy, great stories to tell, and more of Katniss’s strength versus Peeta’s devotion to her. Yeah, that was pretty much nonexistent.

Peeta’s love struck babbling. As Katniss struggles to come up with a plan that ends with the berries, Peeta is supposed to babble about how she needs to kill him, how he can’t live without her, blah blah blah. You don’t get to hear what he says in the book because Katniss isn’t really listening—she’s trying to save them!—but I was sort of looking forward to hearing what it might be like on screen.

“Peeta!” This was cut twice. Katniss screams out Peeta’s name and covers her mouth, angry that she lost her emotions, a moment that gives you chills, when she discovers that they both can win; in the film, she whispers it. It is an important turning point, her first physical indication that she really does feel something for him. At the end, when Peeta is dying (boy did they downplay his injuries!), she is separated from him on the hovercraft, screaming his name again. Again, it’s a goose bump moment—one that would have been very dramatic cinematically.

“How despicable we must seem to you.” Cinna’s line was so important, but they watered down his dialogue, too, saying, “I’m sorry this happened to you” instead of simply letting him SHOW it through his actions as he did in the book. Likewise, we didn’t get to visit with her chatty and goofy prep team, whom we come to at least like by the third book.