Movie Review: The Hunger Games

I’ve been meaning to write this review for weeks, but I suppose it’s better late than never.


I first read the Hunger Games in mid-2010 and fell head over heels in love with the story. It was addictive, it was absolutely brilliant, and perfect, and all the other adjectives you can think of. I read all three books in two days. Like it says in The Fault In Our Stars, “It was exciting to live again in an infinite fiction”. 
I was Team Peeta from the start, and I laughed, and I cried, and I groaned in frustration as the story continued. But all too soon it was over, and only the promise of a movie in the seemingly far-distant future kept me going. 


I didn’t know what to expect going into the movie, because too often adaptations murder amazing books (*cough* Harry Potter *cough*), but I was excited to see what they had come up with. 


I adored the film. The casting was perfect, the scenery was perfect, the costumes were perfect, it was perfect, perfect, perfect. One thing I did notice about the movie though, was that it was a lot more confronting that the book. When you read, you can distance yourself so that the characters are just literally words on a page, but when you see the movie, and you see the kids (and they are just that – the vast majority younger than I am) being forced to murder each other, it’s rather disturbing. 


One of the bits that touched me most was, surprisingly, an add-in for the movie. Near the end of the film, when Cato, Peeta and Katniss are standing on the Cornucopia, Cato says: “Go on! Shoot, and we both go down and you win. Go on. I’m dead anyway. I always was, right? I couldn’t tell that until now. How’s that, is that what they want? I can still do this… I can still do this. One more kill. It’s the only thing I know how to do, bringing pride to my district. Not that it matters.” 
I’m a sucker for getting into character’s brains and trying to understand them on a deeper level than that at which they are initially portrayed, and to me this quote, and some passing references to Career Tributes earlier in the film, really made me think. Just like we’re meant to believe Draco is fundamentally ‘bad’ in Harry Potter, Cato and the other District 1 and 2 tributes are meant to be the ‘bad guys’ (at least in The Hunger Games, before the whole political system becomes the bad guys) and we’re meant to take them at that. But in his final moments, Cato showed his true colours. He was just a boy, trying to be brave, but realising in the end that he was always just going to become a sacrifice for the glory of his district. Too late after volunteering, he realised that there is no honour in The Hunger Games. The odds are in nobody’s favour, and a little part of me likes to believe that had he lived, he would have joined the uprising in the later novels. 


I’ve seen the film twice, now, and the second time I saw it was with my friend Kate. Kate is extremely artsy and into film and such, and once the movie ended, she couldn’t stop raving about the amazing cinematography. I’d seen a lot of complaints about the “shaky” filming in my various readings online, but I realised Kate was right – part of what made the movie so brilliant was the cinematography, the scenery, the camera shots. All the little bits were added together to create one awesome film. 


What I’ve realised about The Hunger Games is that people are in two camps – either they have read the books and loved the movie, or they haven’t read the books and didn’t overly enjoy the film. I think it’s definitely a movie for the book fans, although it has the potential to be enjoyed by everyone. I wouldn’t take anyone under about thirteen to see it (unless they really, really love the books), as even some of my eighteen year old friends were upset by the concepts (or maybe we’re just wimps). 


People are touting it as The New Twilight, or even The New Harry Potter, but that annoys me because it’s nothing like either of those series, so why should it be sold as such? Yes, it is the next big teen sensation, but people should go to see it free from any pre-formed opinions about previous teen hits, and enjoy it for what it is: an amazing movie with a perfectly adorable cast and a message that humanity should listen to, even if it is fiction. 


Rating: 4.5/5


frangipani princess xoxo

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Hunger Games

  1. Pingback: Watch: Catching Fire Trailer | Frangipani Princess

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