Friday, March 23, 2012
Movie Review: The Hunger Games
In The Hunger Games book, readers see the action of the story, the world that Collins has created, and only know motivations through the eyes of Katniss. The challenge for Gary Ross was to take this first person perspective and open it up into the third person. Not only does the audience get to experience The Games with Katniss, but there are moments when the motivations and action of people in The Capitol are revealed. There are also scenes which link The Hunger Games to its sequel Catching Fire and I think that it will help with continuity and fluidity between both movies. This change in perspective only caused small problems which are apparent to those who have read the book, but over all, I believe it was really well done.
The film is visually amazing. Gary Ross was able to take the text by Collins and from it build Panem, completely blowing me away. The visual effects of the train which takes the tributes to the Capitol, the looming city rising into view as they approach, and even the added challenges that the tributes face in the Arena were all incredibly integrated into the live action footage. At the very beginning of the film, when the audience sees District 12 for the first time, I gasped at how absolutely devastating and bleak it truly was. The district, known for its production of coal, was formerly known as the Appalachian region of North America. From the clapboard houses to the plain, homemade dress, this vision of District 12 looked like images of Appalachia from the 1930s. It looked like Eastern Kentucky, my home. I was in awe, and still am. Even the Peacekeepers, soldiers from The Capitol sent to ensure order in the districts, fit what I'd envisioned. I was absolutely blown away.
Aside from a few story issues in translating the novel to the big screen, I was incredibly impressed by The Hunger Games. I highly recommend everyone both see the film and read the books. I can't wait until Catching Fire comes out! I definitely see this being the next big film franchise, following Harry Potter and Twilight.