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A review of 'The Hunger Games' movie

Updated on August 24, 2013
The Hunger Games [DVD]
The Hunger Games [DVD]

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Breaking all kinds of records, it's safe to say that 'The Hunger Games' has become a world wide obsession. Starting as a novel meant for young readers, it has quickly swept the nation into a feeding frenzy of crazed fans who are hooked on Katniss' every move.

For all of those who passed on the book, the story is revolves around Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is a young girl living in the post apocalyptic country of Panem, and is forced to play in a sadistic reality game show known as The Hunger Games. Twenty-four young fighters enter the arena where they fight each other in a no holds barred competition where only one tribute comes out alive.

A brief film teaser.

It seems that, rarely, a novel based on a film closely follows the original story. I'm very pleased to say that the two actually fit hand in hand with one another. I can understand why some scenes were cut, and the added scenes fit nicely. Some of the added scenes featuring President Snow, help the viewer realize just how blood thirsty he really is. Others like the game makers manipulating the arena is also a nice addition. While important explanations are added through sport like commentaries. The significance of the cannon blasts and the explanations of Tracker Jackers are great examples of things defined during these commentaries. Pivotal scenes like the blood bath at the cornucopia and Rue's death are left wonderfully uncut. These two scenes in particular will take each viewer on the same emotional roller coaster ride that the readers experienced. Since the two scenes have some of the highest emotional impact, I was relieved to see that very little had been changed. There is a rather important scene that takes place on the train between Katniss and Peeta where she confesses her true feelings toward him. Since this scene is not included, it gives the audience a false impression that there is actually something between the two. It's not actually the love story that it's made out to be. Although, it's a flaw I can get over, I still feel that it is an equally important part of the story that needs to be told. I'm hoping that they extend on this a little more in the next movie.

Haymitch is depicted somewhat as a serious character, when really he's a screw up that is being constantly laughed at. Showing some of his more notoriously funny scenes would have given the audience a more accurate view of his character. Katniss is actually very calculating, which can't be portrayed on screen very easily, but the director did well in portraying her as best that he could. Honestly, I'm surprised that her fellow hunter and best friend, Gale, didn't have more screen time and little sister, Prim, barely got an honorable mention. They don't exactly having staring roles in the story, but they are important characters nonetheless.

The film is cast almost impeccably. Jennifer Lawrence plays a perfectly believable Katniss. She brings to life a character that young kids can identify with as a role model. Her defiant spunk clearly brings out the best in Katniss, making her role truly come to life. Elizabeth Banks is stupendous in the role of Effie. Her prim and proper disposition bring to mind a picture of the ideal Capitolist noble. Elizabeth's performance fits the novel version of Effie flawlessly. Woody Harrelson absolutely has the rugged, dirty look for this role. I have no doubt that the town drunk wouldn't be right with someone else in the role. He's absolutely convincing as a mentally scarred, former victor. Amanda Stenberg brings the innocence that Rue's character embodies. She has that sweet face that you couldn't help but fall in love with, which makes it so much more debilitating when she meets her unfortunate demise. Despite the brutality of the surroundings, she still tries to see the best in every situation. Lenny Kravitz does a great job at portraying the pure passion that Cinna exudes. I can't deny that Stanley Tucci's over the top charisma brings Caesar to life. It's a good thing that he has enough charm to spare! Alexander Ludwg brings just the right combo of cockiness and confidence that defines Cato. I have no problem believing Cato's savage viciousness. Clove (Isabelle Fuhrman) and Foxface (Jacqueline Emerson) are also nicely portrayed. They aren't starring roles by any means, but they absolutely made the most of their parts.

I know the PG-13 rating is the main contributing force behind the film's success, but my imagination runs wild when I think about what an R rating could bring. The savegry of the opening battle, the extremtiy of Peeta's wounds and the eyes of the mutts that are shaped after each dead tribute could really contribute to the overall intensity of the games. Despite some of the missing scenes, 'The Hunger Games' is a smash because it deserves to be. The heartfelt story telling teamed with the outstanding cast more than equals a movie that won't leave a dry eye in the house. If you're uncertain, rest assured. It's an incredible experience that you'll want to relive again and again.

Katniss means business in this scene!

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    • YimmyP profile image

      James Pagatpatan 6 years ago from Washington State

      I'm so glad that my review was helpful! It really is a great movie, dramatic, exciting and thought invoking as well.

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 6 years ago from Scotland

      Haven't seen the movie yet but your review was really useful in helping me make up my mind to go see it.