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One major difference between the film version and the book version of Katniss' character, is that the book is told from Katniss' first person perspective. I think many fans of the novel were interested to see how the director would portray this primary character, given that readers get to know her by hearing her thoughts and feeling her feelings along with her.
The two qualities that are the most obvious from the film-version are her sense of duty and protection over her family, and her fear of the unknown. In the film, viewers see that Katniss' father is absent, her mother is not the leader of the household, and that the duty of provider falls on Katniss. Her younger sister seems even younger in scenes with Katniss, who is portrayed as strong and silent. This persona elicits a much older and wiser character than her age alone would suggest. Also, the heart wrenching scene where Katniss takes her sister's place at the reaping is one that first reveals that her passion and duty are fully wrapped in protecting her family. She clearly does not even take a moment to think of herself, but, almost insanely volunteers to protect her sister.
It is easy to look at Katniss, the victor of the Hunger Games, and assume she is strong, fearless, and cunning. But both the book and the movie do a great job of showing her trepidation in the games, her uncertainty, and relief every time she succeeds. It is obvious that much of her success is due to luck (or fate) and an inner passion to simply survive. The film does not reveal any sense of a killer instinct, but rather that her compassion and youth is only outweighed by a deeper sense of making it out alive to, once again, go home and provide for her mother and sister. Even her skills with a bow and arrow do not give her a sense that she is stronger and better than the others. She is clearly very afraid.
However, the film also shows that she does not reciprocate love for Peeta. It is clear she is both uncomfortable in pretending to love him, and worried that someone can tell she's lying. In scenes with Peeta and Katniss one-on-one, Katniss remains very focused on the goal to simply stay alive, whatever it takes.
She is quite suspicious and intolerant. She has strong sense of duty and is really responsible, since she's been the putting food on the table for years. She has a temper and is impulsive, you can see that when she sends an arrow to the Gamemakers' table when tributes are trying to prove themselfs and get a good score. (In the book she regrets that quite for a while.) She doesn't like to be indebted, she can't forget the bread from Peeta. She's brave, resourceful and practical. She doen't give into emotions since she understands that thru the emotions you can rule someone. She's cold-blooded and realistic. She doen't forget the bad things that has happened to her, she doen't forgive her mother for being so selfish after her father's death. She's unforgiving and can't move on easily so we can say she's a little immature.
Based upon the movie I see Katniss as a strong female lead character who doesn't know her own strength. She thinks quickly and has good problem solving skills. Just as much as she is unsure about hestrengths, she is also unsure of her feelings for either of the men in her life.
My general impression of Katniss based on what I saw from the Hunger Games Movie is that Katniss is
-Determined: She tells Prim that she will try her best to win, and tries her best to survive and win.
-Quick Thinker: When she was in the little pond/body of water and the group of people trying to kill her was after her, Katniss climbed a tree and stayed there instead of giving up.
-Caring: When Rue died after getting stabbed with a spear, Katniss was obviously heartbroken and sad. Even though she had just met Rue, and Rue was from a different district, Katniss showed very strong signs of caring, sung Rue a song, and made a sign for district 13.
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