The Hunger Games Review
While it came out 4 months and probably everyone has forgot it, The Hunger Games is one of my favourite movies this year. And not that it was that good itself, as a movie. It was rather a dream come true because i was a really big fan of the books. That’s what made The Hunger Games so special about millions of people around the world - not just the movie, but the purpose it had.
The expectations were sky-high. Everybody was just wondering how could Gary Ross turn this book into a movie. First, there was the violence. Second, the complexity of he story - a problem which almost every book-to-movie adaptation has. With the first he did well - he made things in a way, which didn’t make it a Disney movie, but neither made it a horror story.
The second thing, however, wasn’t that good. There are many changes from the books, which if you are a fan, won’t be to your taste. Small changes, but many. The problem with that is that it kills some of the spirit of the books and characters. For example, Katniss doesn’t get her mockingjay pin from her best friend - Madge (who wasn’t in the movie at all), but from an old lady at the market. What was worse though, is the amount of things cut from the movie did hurt the plot at times. The motivation of the characters wouldn’t really be easy to understand, unless you have read the book. There are very few unnecessary scenes from the movie, because, while a relatively short book, The Hunger Games has a lot of substance. But i think 10 or 15 more minutes would have benefited the movie greatly, making the opportunity to include some more scenes and characters.
Thankfully, they had the right cast. Otherwise the movie probably would have been a failure. Jennifer Lawrence is, like everybody says, a real live Katniss and brings the character to life, making her a possible candidate for an Academy Award. The tributes were well cast, Elizabeth Banks (Effy), Stanley Tucci (Caesar), Lenny Kravitz and Woody Harrelson all seemed perfect fits for their roles.
The movie still had some advantages over the book, after all. It showed the games from a different point of view - not only the one of Katniss, but we could also see the gamemakers doing their job, the relationship between president Snow and the main gamemaker Seneca Crane and also Katniss and Peeta’s mentor looking for their sponsors.
In the end, Gary Ross did well as director for a movie, but not perfectly. The shaky -cam thing can be very annoying, thought for some scenes appropriate. One thing that made a bad impression was the CGI and some of the designs. The holograms in the hall of the gamemakers were good, but the Capitol looked nothing like i had imagined it. It looked rather like a modernized ancient Rome - low and blocky buildings. It was always mentioned in the book how quirky the citizens of the Captiol are, and while i don’t remember anything about the city, i doubt it would look that way. The CGI of Katniss and Peeta’s fire costumes was pretty bad and seemed cheap. So did the mutts (the hound-like creatures the tributes fought in the final part of the games). Rather than the wolves with human eyes from the books, they just looked like some silly rotweilers.
All in all, however, to me was not just about the movie. I liked the movie, because i accept it as an extension to the book, rather than an independent one. The important things were done - they have the right cast and a nice beginning. Now that they got more money, they can have a bigger budget, better effect, better thought-out plot, etc. They can only do better from now.