The Hunger Games
The first thing I want to do before I write this review is say I haven’t read the books. In all honesty I’d never even heard of the books before I saw the trailer for the film. It seems I’d been far more concerned catching up on the night watch trilogy or reading anything written by Rory Stewart. It crossed my mind before the film came out, should I read these books? Should I catch up on the series before I go and see the film?
Ultimately I decided an unequivocal no; simply because having read books before seeing films in the past,I always found myself comparing negatively and finding faults in films where they really didn’t matter. Yes the faults were there, but ultimately they didn’t matter. Unfortunately sometimes I found myself being caught up on these irrelevant altered details, unable until later reflection to even enjoy the film. However, when acted out the other way, seeing films before reading the books, I found myself enjoying the books regardless of the changes, often enjoying the changes, pleased and impressed by the increased detail and character development you expect from a book. It’s this further enjoyment I hope to gain from reading the hunger games in future, now having seen the film.
Now, to the actual film.
This film has its faults. Perhaps too much time was spent in the capitol city before the hunger games were played out, and some aspects of the rating system of each combatant felt a little extended. I accept that these were likely crucial aspects of the book, and I know if I ever read the books I’ll complain of too little detail in their training or capitol life. Nonetheless for some reason I don’t think this sort of detail transfers well into the visual arena. Furthermore, almost counter to my first point I don’t think there was enough development of the President or other secondary characters. Yet, ultimately (Yes, I love that word) these are moot points as I found the film incredibly entertaining and well worth watching.
It had a great mix of action, meaningful dialogue and personality; but for me the biggest selling point of this film was just how much I found myself cheering on Katniss, willing her and Peeta just to damn well get it on. Here, Jennifer Lawrence did a stand out job. She made me love her character (maybe a little too much), understand the on-going ment conflict within herself skilfully placing doubt in the brain of the viewer about just how much truth there was in her feelings towards Peeta (at least, this is what I took from it, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). Lawrence is a great up and coming actor (If being involved in my opinion at least three great films, X-men: First Class, Winter’s Bone and The Hunger Games still counts as up and coming) and deserving of an oscar nomination, she certainly doesn’t fail in this film. A note has to be made as well for yet another stand-out performance by Stanley Tucci who effortlessly becomes his character, I’m convinces he’s been an odd-looking television presenter his entire life.
Simply put, it’s a great film. A good mix of sci-fi, action and hollywood love affair, that successfully alerts you too a much deeper and complex under-current. The characters are by no means two-dimensional, the love is uncertain, the characters are somewhat a mystery and the outfits…well I let you judge that for yourselves! Reminiscent somewhat of Battle Royale and Death Race 2000 set in a faintly Orwellian world, (n no way a negative point) I must say this is a really entertaining film that I truly think anyone can enjoy.