A Foodie Protest

resourceTonight 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.

  1. The rolls Gale traded for on Reaping Day.
  2. Haymitch’s roll with jam on the Capitol train.
  3. The rodent Katniss snared, and cooked in the arena whilst alone.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 KatnissRue_largethink 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

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7 comments

  1. Great post! I think the worst missed food opportunity came from cutting the dialog between Rue and Katniss: Why oh why couldn’t they have kept Rue’s line about ‘I’ve never had a whole leg’. Food (and water) came far too easily: just as we never really get to experience Katniss’ delight in the Capitol’s food, we also never really feel the terrible hunger in the Districts and the Arena. That was something that Collins did so well in the books; I was really sorry it was missing from the film.

  2. I hope we’ll get to see the “inducing vomit” scene in the Capitol, for multiple reasons. Among other things, IIRC it starts by Katniss gorging herself on the meals, before she and Peeta hear about the Capitol people’s habit.

    1. In general, I agree that while Ross did a good job of portraying how the Capitol oppresses the Districts by a show of police/military force, he glossed over the socio-economic aspects of that oppression. While I don’t think the situation in the US is that dire (yet), there are many historical parallels, such as English policies in their rule over Ireland that contributed to the “great famine” that killed literally a million people in the 1800s. Many Irishmen see what happened as state-sponsored genocide, and of course, the Irish eventually rebelled.

      So, I hope CF deals with that aspect a little more, especially as I think this explains WHY people were so primed to rebel, that they’d be more willing to risk death to be free if they’re starving to death anyway. The casting calls for “extremely thin” extras make me think it will, though.

      I want the “inducing vomit” moment included as well! Not just for Katniss’s development, but because that seems to be the point that Peeta goes from “protect your own” to “care about nameless, faceless others” mode, when he suggests to Katniss that perhaps they shouldn’t be trying to quell the unrest in the Districts. I guess some Peeta fans would say he was always like that, but while we see him being compassionate to Katniss herself, his behavior toward her is a little “tainted” by his crush; we don’t know if he’d have done anything if, say, Prim was the one who he saw going through the trash the night he threw Katniss the bread.

      Same with his “gift” to Rue and Thresh’s families, which many see as proof of his being an exceptionally selfless, compassionate guy. But though Peeta himself didn’t interact with Rue or Thresh, it seems he feels obligated to their families mostly because of their connections to Katniss. I can just imagine, say, the parents of the D8 girl watching that and thinking, “OUR daughter also died so that you and the Everdeen girl could live. Are you going to give US any part of your winnings?”

  3. Man, don’t even get me started on this topic. You guys all know how obsessed I am with the food from the books, it’s WHY I started Fictional Food to begin with! I was really mad about the missing lamb stew, but more mad about there being no Cinna lunch!!! That was what first made me fall in love with Cinna.

    And holy cow, whenever I see that stupid ass roll that Gale trades for, I want to scream. It looked like it came from freaking Safeway! And then the stupid line, “Is this REAL?!” No, Katniss, he stopped off and bought a fake plastic bun to tease you. There shouldn’t have been any reason for that line. There was nothing wrong with how SC wrote it in the book and wouldn’t have taken any more time.

  4. Re: “is this real?” line on the scene with Gale
    i think Jennifer Lawrence delivered that line to perfection, similar to how some people I have come across react to an (unusual) treat being served before them; like when a very poor child (homeless/ stays in an orphanage) gets a birthday party cake. it underscores how “unimaginable” or now “not normal/regular/expected” (close to impossible?) to get such “luxuries”.

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