The Hunger Games Movie Review

Let me preface this by saying in general, movie adaptations face the almost impossible undertaking of translating hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pages that take day(s) to read into a 1-2 hour film that's supposed to have the same effect on a reader. Essentially, movies are summaries of the novels and chances are it's going to feel like something's missing.

I'm not saying The Hunger Games was bad. It was good. It stayed faithful to the novel and also easy to follow for someone who's not read it. Added scenes, such as the conversations between Seneca Crane and President Snow, gave deeper insight to events in the story. It exposes one advantage the film have over the novel: the ability to show different perspectives.

To which, Jennifer Lawrence and the cast should be commended for their portrayals of these beloved characters. Lawrence in particular had to convey Katniss's thoughts only through what she says and what she does. As an Oscar nominated actress, Lawrence does just that. Same goes to the rest of cast who's performances should meet reader's expectations especially the remarkable transformation of Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman) and Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket).

But President Snow could have been more sinister and twisted. And a less distracting hair piece for Haymitch.

Clocking in at more than two hours, The Hunger Games is a lengthy film that goes by quickly. Yes, it's compelling that times flies by but at points, also felt rushed where the next scene is already being established  before the previous one even settles in. The film's watering down  continues in the "killings" where swift and carefully positioned cameras shun viewers of any actual bloodshed but merely suggests it.

The film never develop the same level of emotional connection with the viewers as the book. The arena never felt as neurotic as it probably was. The viewers never have a complete understanding of the status quo in the arena except for Rue's death and that's due to the fact that it was allowed time to be developed. Water was not as rarefied as it was in the book and Katniss's time at the arena felt like a day. At most.

With that said, the film adaptation of The Hunger Games is a respectable one that will satisfy the majority of moviegoers. The Hunger Games is a condense story and it's difficult to capture everything in it in a film. If anything, read the book, and see The Hunger Games' universe and characters be fleshed out in the film. It's a must-see.

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