Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Film Review | The Hunger Games

Image Via IndieWire.com

Although this is delayed, I think that The Hunger Games deserves a film review here on NewfoundJoye. I read the entire trilogy just before the film was announced, so I had plenty of time to imagine what the film would be like. Unlike most book-to-film ventures, this franchise benefits from the big screen. It was written for film in a way. The best way to watch a televised event of children fighting to the death is for you to be able to see it. Either way, I'm going to be spoiling this film, so if you have not yet gotten around to seeing it, stay away from the jump. 

Film Score: B+

The Hunger Games gets a good grade in my book. It followed the events that the audience expected to see quite well. Some of the actors fit the description of the written characters, while others didn't—though all redeemed themselves by playing their roles well. In terms of the actual film, it was a solid production with an engaging plot, haunting music, and excellent cinematography. 

However, my only gripes come from having read the book. If I did not read the book, I might not have cared, but the entire development of relationships was extremely shallow. Katniss and Gale care deeply for one another—not quite at the level of "loving" each other, but close enough. That is glazed over, but not as badly as Katniss's relationship with her mother. The lack of depth to that aspect of the relationships made Katniss a strangely flat character, which she is not throughout the book.

The "Muttations"—the beasts for those that have no idea what I'm talking about—at the end of the games were the other tributes. I don't know that they felt it was too much to explain this in the film, but as they appear in later books, I thought it was odd that they did not introduce the concept in this first film. Another piece of the book that is lost to film, but helpful in the book is the punishment of betraying the Capital. Early in the book, Katniss divulges that the Capital had killed one escapee and captured another. I think it would've given the Capital an even greater presence, but I've hit particulars at this point.

The Hunger Games is produced as masterfully as the written counterpart. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and overall you should enjoy the film whether you read the book or not. Head to your local theater and give it a watch. 

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