Film Review: The Hunger Games

A Fangirl’s Perspective on The Hunger Games

To be honest, I’m not a complete fangirl. I’ve only read all three books twice. I only bought one shirt, and I did not go to the midnight showing. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t completely excited to see this movie. When compared side by side, the movie and book are parallel in story line. Some movies drop or reorder events to get to more important devices in, but it ruins the stories’ charm (Harry Potter, I’m talking at you). Thankfully, The Hunger Games did this to the least possible degree. There are obvious changes that anyone who has read the first book in the series can point out (the biggest I saw was blatant in the previews, so I was prepared) but some of the others actually added to the story line.

The best way to approach this is with a list of pros and cons:

Pros:

In the book, you only get Katniss’s perspective, but in the movie you see the perspective of those outside the games. This change added more to the story then I could have asked for. In the book it is not necessary because you are so wrapped in the emotions, thoughts, and actions of Katniss. Seeing the movie through the eyes of other characters adds tension and explains some aspects that a reader can only guess at in the book.

Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson (and everyone else): I’m not a professional in the business of movie reviews, or an acting critic, but I could not complain about a single person’s acting ability in the movie. I felt every emotion. Stanley Tucci was amazing in his role. You feel the development of Harrelson as he starts to care for both of his charges. Jennifer Lawrence was spectacular as Katniss. How often can you tell that an actor(ess) is physically shaking with fear and emotion? Amazing

The score for this film was extraordinary. The music for the Capital scenes played out like a twisted Price-Is-Right episode, while the District and Games soundtrack created the feeling of distance from an outside world with emotion and intensity.

Cons:

I had only one, cinematography. Shaky cam. In only a few of the scenes was it done well to fit the action, but during other scenes it robbed the viewer of a clear view of what was happening. It drew this viewer away from the movie, allowing me to think “this would be a great moment to not use the shaky cam every again because the mood has changed”.

For those who are not familiar with the book, you’ll be left guessing what will be next and how Katniss can be challenged even further. If you’re familiar with the books you’ll wonder what extra tidbit they will throw in to add to the story a little more. If you could not visualize the vividness of the Capital of Panem when you read the books, here is your chance.

The Hunger Games: A-

 

(Image © Lionsgate)


Jessica Dewey-Hoffman is a Biology Major turned Librarian. She is currently a MLIS student at San Jose State University. She can be reached at j.dewey.hoffman@gmail.com