Friday, 31 May 2013

The Hunger Games: the book VS the film

Seeing as Catching Fire is now only months away I’m going to share with you my opinion on how I thought Lionsgate did (or did not) do justice to the world wide best seller books that is the Hunger Games trilogy. The film was released in March 2012 after much anticipation from fans and critics alike; the books benefited greatly and saw a massive increase in sales and you literally couldn't turn anywhere without being reminded that something big: something that could reach Harry Potter big was about to land on our doorsteps. As a huge fan of the books I too could hardly bare the excitement of one of my favourite books being made into a film with an all-star cast and a very promising trailer: I was not disappointed when release day came around.

Jennifer Lawrence was flawless as Katniss Everdeen the heroine in the book and really captured the character well: she was mesmerising to watch; and if her recent success is anything to go by she will be around for a very long time and Lionsgate were lucky to grab her whilst they could because I don't think that anyone could have fitted the role just as well. Josh Hutcherson who plays the smitten Peeta Melark from District 12 was fairly decent but did not have the same scene grabbing effect as Lawrence. 

In the books the relationship between Katniss and Peeta is poignant and it is clear that Peeta is in love with Katniss. However, Katniss is just playing along for the Games so that she can play off the 'star-crossed lovers' that the Capitol love and gain sponsors during the Games; this aspect of the film was disappointing. There was very little build up and almost no emotion, if you hadn't of read the book, you certainly wouldn't be hoping that Katniss would realise how much of an idiot she is being by faking her love for Peeta.

Another let down was Katniss' relationship with Rue, the small girl who reminded Katniss of her little sister Prim and who was the District 11 tribute; this was hardly developed at all, in the book their relationship and allegiance to each other goes on for several chapters and shows the vulnerable side to Everdeen which is lacking in this film. When Rue got killed, I think that in the film, it was the longest period of time that the two characters spent with each other: this should have been developed more thoroughly to get more of a reaction from the audience over the death of character that impacted Katniss’ life a lot when she was in the arena. It could have highlighted the severity and impact that these games had on normal people; it should have showed you that your innocence could be taken away from you at any moment during the Games and a child you befriended could die so very easily in your arms had the relationship been more developed.

However, apart from those two points, Gary Ross (the director) has done a pretty good job in bringing the text to life. I am somewhat curious to how Catching Fire will turn out seeing as Ross is no longer the mastermind behind it all; I do hope that the new director has taken some notes down from him so that he doesn't lose the integrity of the books that we have all grown to love. In all honesty I don't think that you can get a much better adaptation of a book than this film and if that doesn't convince you: the awards speak for themselves. 

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