I think we can all just about agree that there is an over saturation of teen dystopian dramas. As an avid young adult fiction reader (and proud of it), however, I have a deep seated love for these books (most of them…some of them). Like every fan of a book series I am extremely excited about the release of a movie made about my book.
I think people are so quick to dismiss these books as shallow is because of the way they have been portrayed on film. I’m just not sure Hollywood executives are thinking. Maybe they just don’t believe teens and young adults are capable of deep thought and discussing intense cultural topics. It’s clear when reading the best of these book series (before it became such a fad to write them) that the authors did not think the young adults their books were geared toward could not handle certain topics.
Take Suzanne Collins for example all of her works center around the impact that war has on children. It is a brutal, graphic, and disturbing novel. I felt when watching the Hunger Games movies much of this was lost. The meaning behind the books was lost in a series of flashy costumes, bigger budgets, and Jennifer Lawrence (no hate she’s just insanely famous). The meaning behind the deaths of characters like Finnick and Prim were lost in the film. While Prim’s death remained tragically senseless Katniss’s spiral of depression and mourning was never put to film depriving teenagers from seeing and vicariously experience was deep familial loss means. In an effort to appease fans they made Finnic’s death more heroic and lost the message of the brutality of war and the often seemingly unheroic deaths people face during them.
I don’t care if my Katniss looks exactly like I pictured her, but I do care that the message and the real underlying story being told is. I wish that Hollywood wasn’t so afraid to tell it.