“The Hunger Games “
Director: Gary Ross
Writer: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray
Novel: Suzanne Collins
Production Co: Lionsgate
Genre: Sci Fi, Action/Adventure
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Length: 2hrs 37 mins
Film Rating: PG-13
Opinion Rating: 3
The much anticipated Hunger Games movie is finally here. Whether you are Team Peeta or Gayle isn’t really the question on everyone’s mind right now – it boils down to how does the movie compare? Were they even close to capturing all that makes Suzanne Collins epic tale so amazing? Read on to find out.
The world as we know it has collapsed and in its place has risen 12 Districts and the Capital. After the rebellion, the Capital instated the Hunger Games. An annual televised event where 2 teens are chosen from each District as tribute to fight to the death. In the end, only one can survive- May the odds be ever in your favor.
First off, I had pretty high expectations for this film. With Suzanne Collins as one of the Screenplay Writers, I expected it to follow the books pretty well. Unfortunately, a lot of what made this book amazing was lost. I understand that a book that takes seven hours to read is difficult to condense into 2 and a half hours, but it seemed that the director and editors chose to focus more on the action and cut some of the story.
The book is mainly comprised of Katniss’ inner dialogue- something that is very difficult to replicate without a narration track. They tried to cover it with facial expressions and music tracks, but I felt like this is where a lot of the meat is lost.
Many of the softer moments between Katniss and Peeta are cut altogether. Ultimately this means that their bond is somewhat confusing and awkward and never fully explained. I would have loved for more of the dialogue from the book to be incorporated.
I know I was curious to see how the cast measured up with their literary counterparts. I was really disappointed with the Haymitch character. I felt like his role catered to the actor and his required screen time rather then capturing the character and his relation to the story. Other then that, In this one I was pleasantly surprised. Though I didn’t think Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) looked plain enough to be Katniss at first, she certainly portrayed the role well. No Prim and Peeta do not have their trademark blue eyes and Gayle has piercing blue eyes instead of gray- but I didn’t feel like it pulled away from their characters because they played them so well. Unlike the “Twilight” cast, I actually look forward to seeing these players continue in their roles through #2 and #3 :)
Drama Build Up:
In the book there are highs and lows that the characters encounter. Severe injuries that keep them down and emotional breaks. It seems like these moments went by so fast that you never really get a sense of the danger Peeta and Katniss are truly in. Again, with condensing the timeline it made the “Hunger Games” seem a little easier then they are.
Though the costumes for the games themselves are right on, some of the other elaborate costumes were a bit of a let down. Especially the chariot scene and interview dress. Makeup and hair was great throughout. Very creative on some of the Capital residents.
Awesome. From District 12 to the Arena I felt like they were right on with the locations. Very well done.
The film has a filtered look to it. A lot of the camera work is in that choppy style to give you the effect you are running through the forest with the characters and add a bit more chaos. It wasn’t overdone to the point of making me nauseous which was nice. There are some creative shots and I felt it was a good choice for this film.
Overall, I liked the film. It wasn’t an exact replica of the book – they never are. I wont go into detail on the differences, but there are some added scenes that didn’t happen in the book and certainly scenes that are missing. There were some let downs and certainly some triumph, but I felt like the overall grit and tone of the book was captured. It was action packed and as a movie on its own, entertaining. Certainly a good intro to “Hunger Games” for those who haven’t read the book but absolutely not a replacement.
I will definitely be seeing it again… and again… and again. Hopefully when I am not being so picky I will enjoy it more. Some of the memorable moments from the book are captured perfectly.