THE HUNGER GAMES (2012)
DIRECTOR: Gary Ross
STARRING: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland
GENRE: Science Fiction, Action
I always experience a little trepidation when a book I love is transferred to the big screen. It could be fantastic or it could be a disaster. I don’t think many book lovers could have missed the buzz around ‘The Hunger Games’ release last weekend, I for one had my cinema visit booked in the diary weeks in advance.
For those of you who haven’t read the books, the film is set in the future and tells the story of Katniss, a young woman who lives in district twelve of the poorest districts in the country, she helps feed her family by poaching daily in the local forest with her best friend Gale.
Years ago the districts rebelled and as a punishment, each year two children from each district, are selected to enter The Hunger Games, a violent reality show where the children must fight to the death until one child remains. When the unthinkable happens and Katniss’s twelve year old sister is selected, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. You can read my book review here.
Before I even got to the cinema I had my worries, Jennifer Lawrence was not exactly the way I thought Katniss would look, (too pretty) and I’d heard rumours that parts of the story had been changed. Yet, despite my misgivings, Jennifer Lawrence is in fact superb. She captures the essence and spirit of Katniss perfectly, bringing her to life, quirks and all as I imagined her. In fact most of the actors played their parts excellently. From Peeta, Katniss’s fellow tribute and potential love interest, to Effie Trinket. We sadly don’t see enough of Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth (be still my beating heart!), however, the chemistry between him and Lawrence is sizzling. But I always have been team Gale
I did have one problem with the casting, and that was with Haymitch. I imagined him overweight, bearded and unattractive, almost Hagrid like. Instead we get a somewhat handsome and slim Woody Harrelson with long blonde hair. He just didn’t work for me. He seemed to lack core of who Haymitch the pained, tortured alcoholic was.
Then to my usual pet peeve when books are translated, has the story been changed? In a word… Yes. But surprisingly I found I didn’t mind it too much. The big thing about the book is of course Katniss’s internal dialogue and I did miss that. This was translated by you getting an insight into behind the scenes of the games with the game makers, but because of this you missed understanding just how intelligent Katniss is.
The film was atmospheric, pacy and built tension nicely. Judged by the group of girls sitting next to me who literally jumped out of their seats during the final scenes! The contrast of the poverty stricken districts against the frivolity and wealth of the Capitol was vividly drawn. The terror and isolation of the games was palpable.
I am a little confused by the constant comparison between ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Twilight’. Other than the fact both books were originally written for young adult audiences, and include a love triangle at the centre of the story they are nothing alike. If you are not a ‘Twilight’ fan, don’t let this put you off.
I’ve written the review looking at it from my perspective as a book reviewer and a lover of ‘The Hunger Games’ novel, but of course you can easily watch the film if you haven’t read the book, in fact I would recommend you do so. It genuinely is a good film. Of course, as always the book is better!
A great and solid film interpretation of an even better book. Entertaining, dark dystopian fiction and an impressive performance by Jennifer Lawrence. Definitely worth a cinema visit.
We have a fab THE HUNGER GAMES mug and pin to giveaway, thanks to Scholastic.
This giveaway is UK Only and ends 13th April 2012
To enter please follow the Rafflecopter instructions
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