Tonight I had a great meal. It was inspired, well cooked, spicy, but not too spicy, and the drinks were potent enough, but not so much so that I annoyed the people across the aisle. Which brings me to this: I have many gripes about The Hunger Games film adaptation– but this one I think is forefront in my mind, because I’m such a damn big fan of the stuff, and the stuff is food. The Hunger Games is practically a testament to Katniss’ undying obsession and adoration of food. The girl loves food, but sadly that love was left out of the film adaptation, and I don’t know about you, but I’m making a major sad face when I think about this omission of Foodie-ness. Also, can’t forget that Peeta is a baker, i.e. his entire life has been surrounded by the making and selling of food. Kind of telling, right? I think so. Was it touched on very much in the film? Nope.
I think my biggest foodie gripe has to be the missing lamb stew with dried plums. I mean, how many of us wanted to see Jennifer Lawrence practically lapping the Capitol china with her tongue?! I’m sure she wouldn’t have been opposed to this kind of direction, she has had to skin a real dead squirrel on-screen (Winter’s Bone)– licking bone-china would probably have been a welcome reprieve from pulling the guts out of a rodent. Alas, no lamb stew for her to lap up, and lamb stew wasn’t even silver parachuted into the arena for her and Josh to eat, and then spit out between takes, nope– just broth. I think I can count on one hand how often food was actually pictured, and also eaten.
- The rolls Gale traded for on Reaping Day.
- Haymitch’s roll with jam on the Capitol train.
- The rodent Katniss snared, and cooked in the arena whilst alone.
- The “groosling” (which they didn’t even say was groosling! Way to miss out on some handy-dandy world building), Rue and Katniss ate during their 1st real conversation.
- The chicken broth Katniss fed to Peeta in the cave.
Yeah, I’m leaving out all the fancy dinner spreads in the Capitol, as well as the infamous roasted pig, because no one seemed to eat any of it on-screen, just took swallows of their drinks. I think I’m made more sad by this choice to omit the seeming importance of food from the film, and possibly the series– because I know that they did put thought into the prop development of the food. They hired culinary artists to make all the food, and Gary Ross even went through a process of picking out the right way to brand the words “District 11” onto some seedy bread. That’s right, everyone– Katniss was going to receive bread from the citizens of District 11, but I guess they cut it for time, or for the fact that the people of that district were depicted, and established enough with the added scene of them rioting. Your guess is as good as mine.
No lamb stew, no hot chocolate, no rice dish with Cinna, the only consolation prize is the fact that they have three other films to get across that the hunger in the series title has more of a meaning than survival.
They better not skimp on the Capitol Victory Tour Gala, all’s I’m sayin’! That or I’m going to be singing “Be Our Guest” throughout the whole movie, sorry to my seatmates in advance.
Them There Eyes