The Hunger Games is definitely among the most anticipated movies of the year and after
the movies release on March 23, many lovers of the book series, myself included, were not
The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen who lives Panem, a futuristic country divided
into twelve districts governed by the oppressive Capitol that oversees the country. After a failed
uprising by the districts, every year the Capitol forces each district to offer up one boy and one
girl as tribute. These tributes fight to the death until only one remains in a televised competition
called "The Hunger Games". After her younger sister Primrose is chosen as tribute for District 12,
Katniss volunteers to go in her stead and begins the most terrifying chapter of her life.
This film may have been one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I have ever seen. Unlike
the Harry Potter and Twilight movies, which need the novels to give life to the films, The
Hunger Games is fantastic all on its own. It told the story perfectly without leaving out anything
essential. It even drew out out some of the novel's smaller details. The scenes that were added
to the film, like shots of the Gamemakers and people in the Capitol watching the Games, only
enhanced the movie.
Having read the books, I was worried that the movie might either be too brutal for commercial
audiences or that they would gloss over the violence and miss some of the novel's message. I was
impressed with, for lack of a better word, the tastefulness of the violence. It was shown in such a
way that captured the brutality of the Games without turning the audience into Capitol viewers
entertained by the slaughter.
My favorite part of The Hunger Games movie was the casting. It was as if The Hunger Games
author, Suzanne Collins had written the cast into existence. Jennifer Lawrence is phenomenal in
the lead role, giving Katniss a tenderness that wasn't as apparent in the books. Josh Hutcherson
and Liam Hemsworth were no slouches either as the two male leads. Hutcherson’s sweetness
struck a great balance with Lawrence's tenacity. Even the actors in smaller roles shined, like
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, and who didn't love Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman?
There's been a lot of criticism about the shaky cam and other cinematic 'gimmicks' that made
the film more electrifying. Personally, I thought it was a great tactic for engineering the jarring,
present tense feel of the story. However, I will admit that it wasn't very easy on the eyes.
Another common complaint about the film is that it’s way too long. Again, I disagree. The movie
was so fast-paced and captivating that time flew during the two and a half hours that my eyes
were glued to the screen. Usually, I would get bored and squirmy during such a long movie,
but every moment of this film was earnest and compelling in its own way. I didn’t dare miss a
minute. It took intelligent directing to keep up the swift pace, which is impressive as there was
so much to explain before the Games could begin.
What surprised me most about the film was how emotional it was. I didn't cry when I read the
books, but I'm not ashamed to say that the movie made me a little misty-eyed. Again, I believe
it was the cast who gave life to the mor emotional aspects of the characters and who emphasized
the more tender moments in the otherwise violent story
Overall, The Hunger Games was emotional, stylish, and totally engrossing. Following a
somewhat lackluster year for film, the movie started this year with a cinematic bang. Whether
you've read the books or not, it's a definite must see.
Movie poster courtesy of FanPOP.com