April 20, 2012
By Oliver Layco
Happy Hunger Games. May the odds be ever in your favor…
The Hunger Games is a successful book series that made its movie debut a few weeks ago. For those who haven’t read the book, the basic plot is that the government has divided the country into 12 districts after they revolted against them. Each year they choose one boy and one girl from each district between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the death. For those who choose not to read the book and just watch the movie, it is well done. As for book purists, there are always little details that are going to be missing. However, even for those who have read the book, it still does a good job of remaining true to the story.
First off, I had to watch this movie twice. The first time I watched it there were these annoying kids next to me who kept talking and weren’t really focused on the movie. Needless to say, one of them felt my wrath. When I watched it a second time I was able to appreciate the movie for what it was in greater detail.
The first thing that really struck me about the movie was the time spent in the Games. When it starts, we get acquainted with District 12 and where Katniss (the main protagonist) lived for her life. However, they only spend 20-30 minutes of the film here. Granted the Games are the main focal point of the film, I feel like they could have spent more time developing relationships and characters here. For example, the relationship between Gale and Katniss isn’t clear. When Peeta and Katniss start to get closer all we see of Gale is of him staring at the screen with a disappointed face.
As for the Games itself, they are very well done. In all aspects leading up to them and during the Games, they happened mostly the way I thought they would. I thought Seneca was done especially well, but that may just be because I thought he had a really cool beard. As for everyone else, like Haymitch, there were background details or other stories that could have been told that were left out. I also found it odd that Haymitch looked so well dressed when he was a drunk. You almost feel like Donald Sutherland should play Haymitch and Woody Harrelson should play President Snow. However, this is expected of a book to movie adaptation. They have to decide what to include and what to leave out. Otherwise we’d have movies that were all at least 3 hours long. There was one aspect though that I didn’t like about the Games. They used the shaky camera technique far too much. At times, I wasn’t sure as to what was going on.
Overall, it was still a pretty good movie. As I stated before, there are always going to be details missing from a book to movie adaptation. However, they did a good job at covering up what was missing and emphasizing other aspects. As for watching it for a third time in theaters? Not likely. But when it comes out on DVD I think I will definitely be picking this one up.