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The Hunger Games

Movie Review

The Hunger Games was everything I wanted it to be and more.  Having read the book after seeing the previews for the movie, it was still somewhat fresh on my mind and there were certain scenes I was looking for, all of which the movie delivered.  While not identical to the book, The Hunger Games Movie did a brilliant job staying true to the essence of the book.

However, since I know not everyone has read the book, I’ll make sure to cover just the movie to start.  I’ve seen it twice so far, and both times with someone who has not read the book.

My boyfriend said it was predictable and rolled his eyes at the end, but he says that about EVERY movie we see.  The other person I saw it with said there wasn’t as much action as she expected, but that she loved the political themes strewen throughout the movie.  I’ll explain more in a bit.

The movie is a little long, so don’t go to a late showing if you need to be up in the morning.  So far, no one I’ve talked to complained about it dragging, but if you’re expecting a movie whose entire plot is based on teenagers killing each other, there are some scenes you might feel slow down the movie.  I believe the relationships between the characters is great, very well acted, and keeps the movie from being too dark.  Some of the filming is choppy (on purpose I’m sure) which I didn’t mind the first time but kinda bothered me the second.

The cast was amazing.  I loved that there were few stars in the movie, and most of the cast looked like kids you would pull out of high school.  It added a layer of believablility to the movie it would have lacked if Prince Caspian *deep sigh* had been in it.

Politics

Despite what the posters on Pintrist and Facebook suggest, this is not just a movie about teenagers killing each other. While the book had a much more George Orwell 1984 “Big Brother is Watching” vibe, I felt like the movie did a better job playing up the politics.  Early in the movie, Gale points out that if no one watches, they don’t have a show and it’s all over.  Katniss laughs and tells him that will never happen.  That clip is probably no more than 60 seconds, but could turn into an entire blog post later.  For now, on with the movie.

I don’t remember getting any cutaways in the book to what’s going on outside of the games, but there’s a GREAT scene where President Snow and Seneca are talking about why there’s a winner, why they don’t just round up 24 kids and execute them as a means of retribution for the districts’ previous uprising.  Very thought provoking scene I won’t spoil for you.

These may have been in the book, but I don’t remember them if they were.

Genre: Fantasy or Sci-Fi put to rest

In my book review, there was some discussion about whether to classify The Hunger Games as science fiction or as fantasy.  While people picketing for fantasy may continue to do so for the book, the movie was unquestionable sci-fi, but not overbearingly so.  The gamemakers used technology to affect the arena, but the weapons and arena equipment were quite at home in any present-day action flick.

Compared to the Book

On par.  For once, neither the book nor the movie reign superior in my mind.  They are not identical, but all of what I considered important was captured in both.

Something that I found interesting when talking to the second person I watched it with (who hadn’t read the book) was that she could not tell if Katniss had feelings for Peeta or if she was playing along.  Having read the book, I knew the answer and didn’t realize that while the book makes it clear, the movie leaves you wondering.

Much to my surprise, the ending was a bit darker than the book, and they actually got me to pity Cato.  I forgot, there’s a bit of politics surrounding his fight with Katniss and Peeta which I can’t spoil for you.

Final Thoughts

If you’re going to see the movie, and you haven’t read the book, DON’T BE LATE.  Do not leave to go to the bathroom during the previews.  If you have read the book, this is far less important, but there’s some text at the very beginning that really helps set the scene and explain the context of the movie in the first 2-3 minutes.  If you miss that, it’s mentioned again, but not until further in, at which point you may already be confused.  If you read the book, you have to see the movie.  This is one of the few movies I plan on buying as soon as it’s on DVD.

-Eliabeth

If you’ve seen the movie or read the book, leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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