For book bloggers and book lovers everywhere, The Hunger Games is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated movies of 2012. The book is part of a trilogy that has been loved and treasured by many since its inception in 2008 and thanks to the movie, it has now been immortalised up on the big screen. At around 142 minutes, it’s not a short film but the time seems to fly by when you’re watching it and before you know it, the movie is over and you’re on your feet screaming “Nooooooooo!!!!” or something to that effect ;)
I’m going to start by saying that I think Jennifer Lawrence was an excellent choice for Katniss and she shows the right amount of emotion for such a complex character. In fact, I’ll go so far as saying that the entire casting was perfect with one little exception. Whilst I think Jennifer Lawrence makes a good Katniss and Josh Hutcherson makes a good Peeta, I’m still not convinced about the chemistry between the two actors BUT I didn’t let this spoil the movie for me. There’s been a lot of rumblings in the press and on twitter with people complaining that they didn’t think the actors playing the roles of Rue, Cinna and Thresh should be black (WTF?) and I want to go on record as saying what difference does it make if they are? It’s not even something that I thought about other than they were PERFECT choices for the roles and that’s what counts. Suzanne Collins even describes Thresh and Rue as having dark skin in the book so you can’t argue that it “wasn’t supposed to be like that”. I also want to say that whoever hired Lenny Kravitz as Cinna is GENIUS and although his screen time is short, he totally stole the show in my eyes.
This leads me nicely on to the costume design which was outrageously vibrant and deliciously over the top. This fitted in really well with the description of the Capitol although it’s not something I had initially visualised when reading the book. My favourite costumes were Katniss’ outfits as “The Girl on Fire”. I don’t know or care how they created the desired effect but I thought her dresses were breathtaking.
I’m always afraid when well loved books are turned into movies but I can safely say that Gary Ross (the director) has done a great job and the movie is very close to the book. It was definitely smart of him to have Suzanne Collins as an advisor and to be honest; I don’t know why more movies don’t use the writer in this way. It seems obvious to me. One thing I didn’t like about the movie though was the shaky camera work at times, however the director has gone on record as saying that it had a lot to do with the urgency of what is going on and to reflect Katniss’s point of view. I’m also a little bit bitter about 7 seconds being cut from the UK release to secure the rating so I might just be buying the US DVD/Bluray when it’s released. Also, a quick note about the music – I LOVED IT and I’m buying the score as soon as I can which I preferred to the official soundtrack.
Overall, I was really happy with the movie and I’d say a lot of people were too as it made $155 million (£97 million) in its opening weekend and that’s just in the US! I wonder how many of us are going to see it twice...only next time; I want to go wearing a T Shirt with “TEAM PEENISS!” on it ;)
The Hunger Games was released worldwide on 23rd March, 2012. The Sequel Catching Fire is reportedly already in the works.
At a glance:
1. The movie closely follows the book
2. Suzanne Collins was an advisor
3. The costumes and casting are excellent
4. There are two more movies in the works!!!
1. SOME shaky camera work
2. SEVEN seconds were cut from the UK release
3. Not sure about Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson’s chemistry
4. On top of the 20 minutes of mandatory adverts you have to watch before the movie starts, the lengthy running time means you have to sit in the cinema for a long time and you will be crossing your legs towards the end of the movie. Unfortunately, I had to pee twice and missed some of the movie :(