Friday, March 30, 2012

I feel ya, Katniss

Like half the world, I saw The Hunger Games last weekend. I read the books last summer and the movie stayed pretty true to the text, although--probably because the first person limited narration of the book is so very internal--not everything transfered to the screen with same potency. But there were certain moments that actually stood out more on the screen than the page.

One such moment that struck a chord was the infamous apple scene. OK actors, have you, or have you not, felt EXACTLY like that during at least one audition in your life. Notice it's not a question.

You're the very last person to show your stuff in a long long day. Those on the other side of the table offer you and your resume only the most cursory of glances. Sure, your career/sense of self-worth/life is on the line, but they can only spare you a yawn and half a chance. They're late-day loopy, they're probably talking about the season finale of the X Factor, they're definitely hungry (roast pig, why not?). At the beginning of your song/archery demo, you falter--just for a half second--but apparantly that's all you get. Doesn't matter if you sail through the rest of your song like Maria-frickin'-Callas--you've lost them. Tell me, who in this moment HASN'T felt like zinging something pointy through their smug-ass eye ball. What makes the scene so satisfying is that unlike the rest of us lily-livers, Katniss actually does it. (Perhaps we can be excused our cowardice because, I don't care how bad you want that part, the stakes just aren't as high). I totally love how she bows and thanks them for their attention, goes for the huffy exit...and forgets to put the bow back. Then can't get it on the stand right. BRILLIANT!

I vaguely made the same connection when I read that part in the book, but it stood out a lot more in action. The writers might even have been giving a little wink-nod to the audition process with that scene.

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