It’s been a decent amount of years now since THE HUNGER GAMES was released but I recently realized that I never reviewed it when it came out. Since I just did a reread of the series and my husband had not yet experienced these films I decided to force him to sit down with me to watch.
First I will say, Husband has never read the books. As such he told me that at several points throughout the movie he required my explanations of a few things to fully understand what was going on. This I had never really considered as I went into the films already having read the books. Its an interesting thought though, that someone who hasn’t read the source material would be a little less inclined to suspend disbelief. With my explanations however, he said the film was much more enjoyable.
Now as someone who has read the books I completely expected to hate this movie when it first came out. YA adaptation films were always notoriously bad. To some extent they still are though many have definitely improved the reputation over the years. However, HUNGER GAMES was one of the first adaptation films that I truly loved and thought did well.
For one thing, Peeta is much more tolerable in the films. They give him a much stronger presence and dial back some of his more damsel-esqe patheticness. They emphasize his cleverness in working the audience and the other tributes rather than the fact that he often needs saving and minding. Instead of coming off like a child that Katniss needs to care for he is given a much more even footing. I appreciated it greatly.
Katniss too is expertly played by Jennifer Lawrence. She gives Katniss a more measured quality, rather than completely impulsive (which she absolutely is). Katniss shouldn’t be just a brute with a bow and I like how Lawrence captures that essence of who the character is on a deeper level.
I will say that the shaky camera style definitely took some getting used to. It absolutely works in making the action scenes more intense but it can also be a little disconcerting and nauseating at times. There were points whenI just wanted it to be still, focusing on a moment instead of moving around. But for the most part it did what it was intended to do–convey the emotion and impact of a violent scene. The unpredictability and harshness of the games was reflected in the cinematography beautiful. But I can see why people would dislike it.
I love this movie and it remains my favorite of the set, much like the book version. Though some small changes were made I like what they did in almost every case. The casting was excellent, the writing was perfect, and it set this movie up to be the example by which many would follow for years after.
Highly recommend watching,
What’s your favorite movie adaptation? Share in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,