Another common complaint you hear about movie adaptations is "that was so different to the book," or "so and so was different to how I pictured them," or "they left out my favourite part." Well, that's just unavoidable. Movie adaptations don't have the freedom of the book, and the version of the book that plays out in your head is going to be drastically different to the one put on screen. It just will be. But personally, I think changing things up is a good thing. I don't believe that films have to say loyal to the books all the time, and Mockingjay Part 2 proved that. If you haven't read my review for that movie, you can check it out here. In the review, I promised a spoiler discussion. Well, here it is. This right here will be my Mockingjay Part 2 spoiler discussion, as well as a rant on films staying too loyal to the books.
There's really only three sequences I wish to discuss that contain spoilers. The first is Prim's death. Prim gets about 4 minutes of screen time throughout Mockingjay and 3 and a half minutes of that is during the first twenty minutes of the film. Then, all of a sudden, we see her charge in to rescue bombed children at the end of the film and BOOM! She's dead. That's it. It's not mentioned again until one of the final scenes in the movie. The death felt forced. There was no emotional build up, and hence, I didn't really feel sad when Prim died. It was just another death that happened. Kind of like Finnick's death. Granted, that sequence was my favourite moment in the entire film, but again, there was no emotional impact.
And that brings me to my third spolierific problem. The epilogue. It's pointless as fuck. We get it. Katniss and Peeta fell in love, but did we really need to see them hanging out with their kids, explaining the events of the hunger games? Not at all. What would've been a perfect ending, however, was the final scene before the epilogue. Katniss sneaks into Peeta's room, snuggles up to him and he asks her "you love me. Real or not real?" To which Katniss responds "real," and we cut to black. That tells us just as much about their relationship as the epilogue did. The epilogue just hits us over the head with the fact that they're in love and it was only in the film to please the book fans. It took away from the impact of the ending.
Let's look at other examples of book to movie adaptations, in case I haven't proved my point already. Say what you will about the Hobbit trilogy, but I loved it. Just like Lord of the Rings, it was an epic tale and by the time it had finished, I honestly felt as if I had gone on an adventure. The thing is, the Hobbit book is not very long. It could easily have been one movie, but it wasn't. It was three. They deviated from the book, exploring plot points that they thought would make for a better movie, all while remaining loyal to the source material. They don't do anything disrespectful to J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel, but instead, they build upon it, making it their own thing.
That being said, you can deviate all you want, but you still need to make a good movie. If you take the ideas and characters of a book and put them in a film that's garbage, nobody's going to be happy. Recent examples of this are the Maze Runner and Divergent franchises. I haven't read either of those books, but from what I hear, they're nothing like the films. I have friends who are really invested in those books and try to convince me that if I read the book, I'll understand (and hopefully enjoy) the movies. Well, no. That shouldn't be the case. I should be able to watch and understand the movie without reading the book. These two franchises are examples of books failing to translate to film. Deviating from the books isn't all fun and games, but when it works, it works.