The Hunger Games (2012)
Director: Gary Ross
Writers: Gary Ross (screenplay), Suzanne Collins (screenplay), Billy Ray (screenplay), Suzanne Collins (novel)
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
I have to confess before I start that I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games books and so I had quite high expectations of the film but I was also always going to love the film because I am a fan. Hunger Games has been the first film craze that I’ve actually jumped on the band wagon with. I missed the Harry Potter fan phase and didn’t even attempt to get into Twilight because vampires creep me out. Hunger Games though I started reading before I knew there was going to be a film and I fell completely in love with the books and the characters. It is my favourite style of book, dystopian young adult fiction with a strong female lead who is seriously flawed, it appeals to me in so many ways. I was pumped for this film and also really nervous because I wasn’t sure whether my expectations would be crushed.
There is always that nervousness when filmmakers take a book and make it into a film that it may be adapted too freely and won’t be true to the story but for a book that is narrated by the main character and a female that is so withdrawn into her own world, The Hunger Games really lives up to expectations. I was drawn in from the very beginning by Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss and the environment that they show for District 12. There is something beautifully tragic about the district that unravels as Prim is chosen for the games and Katniss volunteers. The eeriness of the crowd and their response to her volunteering, the abruptness of Effie’s selection of Peeta. My favourite thing about The Hunger Games, apart from Lawrence’s faithfulness to Katniss, was the soundscape and music. It surprised me how well the music fit with the scenes. The costuming, the landscapes, the evil career tributes and the beauty of Rue were other highlights for me. There was of course bits that were disappointing for a fan of the books, but there will always be with the adaptation of book to film. If you haven’t read the books then there are parts that aren’t as terrifying as they are in the books but the way they create the gamemakers headquarters is brilliant and I completely fell in love with Seneca Crane even though he was evil. The Hunger Games is one of those teen franchises but unlike Twilight, there are strong characters to be looked up to, deep subject matter to be considered and questions of morality and right versus wrong that need asking of our own society and culture.
The Hunger Games is a goo action adventure film all on its own and I would definitely recommend you see it. There are moments in the film which I wish were longer – the kiss in the cave was seriously underwhelming – and characters I wish we saw more of – Haymitch and Cinna – but it is the kind of film that I will watch over and over again and will find something new to appreciate each time. I just can’t wait to own it on DVD and watch all the extras like a good little fangirl.