Friday, 4 May 2012

The Hunger Games


Rating: ★★★★½

No wonder everyone is talking about The Hunger Games, the film was incredible. It has to be the only film adaptation where nearly everyone has been satisfied with its portrayal of the book. And it's true. Having read the book myself, I can safely say that everything is pretty much exactly the same in the film as in the novel.


A look in to the future
It is set in the future where reality TV shows like X Factor and I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here have evolved in to the Hunger Games. The rules are that two teenagers must be offered from each district to fight to the death in a massive outdoor arena. Only one will survive. The story follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) who offers herself to be a tribute to save her younger sister.

The concept is unbelievably twisted but, with the kind of reality show you get today, you can't help thinking the Hunger Games could really happen. We watch people's lives get changed forever on The X Factor, what if the next step was to watch them getting taken away? It's this kind of 'what if' mentality which makes the film so thrilling and engaging.

Katniss hits the bulls-eye
Katniss is truly the strongest female role model I've seen on screen since Mulan. She's smart, she's brave, she's beautiful and she uses a bow and arrow. The Hunger Games has also helped make actress Jennifer Lawrence a hot property in Hollywood. It's no surprise, her performance was fantastic. It was very simple and understated but incredibly effective. Now X-Men First Class and Hunger Games are fighting over her to start work on their sequels. Lucky girl.

A lot of people have mentioned how Hunger Games is very similar to Battle Royale. My argument against that is that Hunger Games is completely different in every way other that the overall premise. Also the similarities don't matter because Hunger Games has its own style and format. And remember there's no such thing as a totally original story.

The Hunger Gang
There are some fantastic supporting characters in this film that really bring the film's world to life. To name a few: Haymitch, who is the troubled previous winner of the games; Rue, the youngest tribute in the games but in no way the weakest; and Cinna, Katniss's smart, friendly stylist. Similar to the Harry Potter films, the supporting characters really perfect the imaginary world they live in. They are like the cherry on top of the cake.

All shook up
The one big criticism that many audience members had was the use of the 'shaky camera'. It was very disorientating and, to be honest, it did get a little annoying, but it also added to the film's realism and gave the movie a cinematic integrity separate from the book. That said, the second Hunger Games has been given a new director – Francis Lawrence, the man behind another high concept thriller, I Am Legend – and I can't help wondering if that shaky camera problem is the reason why.

Overall The Hunger Games was a fantastic film. It may even be a contender for the Harry Potter crown, but we will have to see. If you only see one film this year make it The Hunger Games... or die.

2 comments:

  1. I watched the film for the first time last night, and I thought it was great. I loved the use of silence and music and the realism that the camera showed. However I don't know if I agree with you that it was a true representation of the book, I feel that some important and provoking parts of the book e.g. The mocking jay pin from the mayors daughter and the eyes of the mutants were missed. I understand that it's hard to get everything in but I think those were very small addition which would have enhanced the empathy we feel for Katniss and the fear and hatred that the audience feel for the Capitol.

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  2. I'm glad you liked it just as much as I did! I know what you mean about mayors daughter and the dogs. But still think it was a great representation of the book. It just had a couple of bits cut out to make it quicker.

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