How the popularity of Twilight derailed the Hunger Games film adaptations


The Hunger Games film adaptations lean too heavily on the Katniss-Peeta-Gale love triangle thanks to the “team” trend started by the Twilight fandom.

The The Twilight Saga books and films made a strong impression on popular culture for nearly a decade. Beyond the success of the current franchise, the series also influenced other young adult franchises that were popular around the same time. In particular, the series caused great disruption to The hunger Games film adaptations by shifting their narrative focus away from the social and political criticism of novels towards a Dusk-love triangle style.

The final dusk movie Dawn part 2 was released in 2012, which is the same year as the first Hunger games movie premiere. When The hunger Games was in production and first theatrically released, the dusk the fandom was in full swing with a particular focus on the series’ signature love triangle. Fans declared themselves to be either Team Edward or Team Jacob, depending on whoever they thought was best for the main character, Bella. This trend has evolved beyond the dusk fandom, also infiltrating other pop culture fandoms, including that of The hunger Games, who exaggerated the love triangle between the main character, Katniss, and her two love interests, Gale and Peeta. While love triangles can lead to entertaining debates, they shouldn’t have been the foundational pillar on which a mega-franchise about tyranny and the commodification of suffering should have been built.

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The hunger Games: Catch fire, the second film adaptation of the series, is particularly guilty of being overwhelmed by its focus on the Team Gale vs. Team Peeta debate. Almost the entire first hour of the film is devoted to this question. As Katniss and Peeta take part in their Victory Tour, they learn about the rebellions brewing in their country and witness the debauchery and decadence of the Capitol. However, it looks like this part of the movie is much more about the love triangle than tackling the themes of the source material.

Peeta’s relationship with Katniss spends more screen time than her revulsion at the Capitol’s decline. He appears to be far more upset that Katniss’s marriage proposal is a ploy to appease President Snow than he is to find out that the residents of the capital are forcing themselves to be sick to continue abusing, while his community of District 12 is starving.

By following the “team” trend established by the dusk fandom and the passionate response it created, The hunger Games the film adaptations diverged from the original source material. It seems the filmmakers were much more interested in capitalizing on the same enthusiasm that led to dusksuccess than dramatizing the underlying messages of the novels. Just because the two franchises cater to the same demographic, primarily tweens and teens, doesn’t mean the public would demand exactly the same from both franchises. The filmmakers should have given more credit to their audiences.

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By shifting the narrative focus from The hunger Games movies To elevate the importance of the Katniss / Peeta / Gale love triangle, the movies mimicked some of the worst tendencies of the bad guys from the books. Panem’s tyrannical regime depends on the spectacle of the Hunger Games as a distraction and confirmation of his power. The reason Peeta and Katniss love story impacted Panem was because it was a spectacle and a distraction. The commodification of the couple’s love was simply an extension of the commodification of their identities in homage to the Hunger Games. The novels have used this plot to discuss ideas such as seeing beyond what is presented and learning to discern fact from fiction by scrutinizing sources of information.

When films delve too far into the intrigue of the love triangle, a substantial level of social and political criticism is lost. It’s a shame that the filmmakers were so influenced by The Twilight Sagais fandom. Both series have unique intentions and deliver different types of stories despite being aimed at the same demographic. Unfortunately, the filmmakers of the Hunger games series ultimately weakened the films they released – all because they were trying to replicate the success of the The Twilight Saga.

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