The Hunger Games (2012)
Being a huge fan of The Hunger Games book series by Suzanne Collins, I was more than excited when I learned that a film adaptation of the first installment would be made. Essentially, The Hunger Games was written in first person narrative of the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. Her view of the world in Panem and the people she encounters were highly detailed. I thought it would be difficult to transmit those details on the silver screen. After seeing the movie on opening day, all of my concerns had disappeared.
I thought the silver screen version of the book was exceptionally well. It follows the story timeline of the book, although I have to admit that a lot was omitted. It’s rare to find a movie to include every single event in its book counterpart. However, it played out well on the screen and it was enough for anyone to enjoy it without having to read the book.
I thought the movie’s direction, led by Gary Ross, was superb. I read about how people complained that the opening sequence of the arena was all over the place with the shaky camera effects, but I thought it gave the audience the sense of uncertainty and urgency that each tribute was feeling. Although I knew everything that was going to happen, I still felt my heart pounding when Katniss was running away from the careers. It was also great to visually see what the other characters, in particular the other tributes, were thinking and going through.
There were many things left out of the book. The biggest complaint is the mockingjay pin. Since the Mayor of District 12 and his daughter Madge are never mentioned in the movie, they had to make a reason why Katniss wears it. I also thought it was unfair that they never mentioned Effie Trinket’s name. She’s prominently part of all three books!
I thought the last chapters of the book were very important. The part after Katniss and Peeta win the games and are taken back to the Capitol is one of my favorite moments. The separation of Katniss and Peeta truly showed how she felt about him. From that moment until they met again at the exit interview, all Katniss can do was think about Peeta. I could only imagine that it was tearing Katniss apart knowing that he was in the next room, yet she couldn’t see him. Ughh!! I couldn’t believe this didn’t make it to the screen.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie and it was a great interpretation. The movie allowed readers of the book to experience other point of views other than Katniss. The way I pictured every moment was exactly how they portrayed it, with an exception of a couple of things. Gary Ross did an incredible job with this movie and it’s a disappointment that he will not be on board for Catching Fire. Jennifer Lawrence is the perfect Katniss. Josh Hutcherson is exactly how I imagined Peeta. Haymitch was dead on. They did a great job casting all of these wonderful characters. With $305 million in the USA Box Office already on its third week and 3rd best opening weekend of all time (considering that it wasn’t a sequel or a summer movie), The World was indeed Watching!