Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
There are four major changes it makes in the The Hate You Give movie vs book — some are understandable, some are little too dramatic for an already dramatic story. First of all, in the movie Starr and Khalil kiss before he is killed. An kinda reasonable change, it helps explain the depth of their relationship and what they mean to each other, making his death all the more shocking and painful for us. Not to mention they made him pretty handsome. That said, I didn’t like that they kissed because it made Starr cheat on her actual boyfriend, something her character would never actually do.
The movie also eliminates the DeVante character: DeVante is a teen in the neighborhood who gets caught up in one of the local gangs. Starr’s father doesn’t want to see him get lost in the gang world so he takes him in and protects him from the gang leaders. He’s a beautiful parallel to Khalil and Starr’s father and what each of them could have been had they received guidance from an adult. Instead the movie folds DeVante’s character into Starr’s older brother. I loved DeVante in the book, but again, I understand the decision to cut him to shorten the length of the movie. To me he was a very important part in the movie.
The other big changes come at the end of the movie as rioters are taking over the city, pushing for justice for Khalil. In the book, Starr navigates the riots with her brother, DeVante and her boyfriend. But in the movie, the boyfriend leaves early and goes home. Maybe producers thought having a white boy in the midst of black people rioting wouldn’t be believable. But in the novel, I thought it was good to have a white person experience that, to be caught up in something that the average white person doesn’t typically see, to witness an eye-opening historic moment and also to show his love for his girlfriend by staying with her through a dangerous time.
But the biggest change from the book to the movie comes when Starr’s little brother holds up a gun to the gang leader who has just burned down their father’s grocery story in the middle of the riots. It is a symbolic image of how gun violence, racism and society impact children and take away their innocence. But it’s dark and also kinda unrealistic (in that if Starr’s parents were looking for her in the riots, they would NEVER bring a seven-year-old with them), it just didn’t work for me. In the book, the cops arrive and cuff the gang leader pretty quickly without any pointing of fingers.