Mar 23, 2012

Book vs Bigscreen :: The Hunger Games

Title: The Hunger Games

Recommended Age: 14+

Sex: Crushes, flirting, and kissing is all.
Drugs n Drinking: Some adult alcohol use and one drunk.
Violence: A lot of violence, kids killing kids, weapons, blood, combat.
Cuss Words: Low to infrequent use of “damn”, “hell”, “God” in vain.

Basic Plot: If you have read the book then you know what is going to happen in the movie. Setting is Panem, a fictional future of our country that follows totalitarian government with a cruel President and unfeeling people of the capitol. The female protagonist, Katniss, risks her life to feed her family and then takes her place as a participant in a cruel game of kids killing kids, something the government uses to discourage rebellion in the surrounding districts.

Comments: I enjoyed the film and thought that Suzanne Collins acting as a participant in screen writing helped the plot of the movie stick with the book as best it could. Though the thought of “the games” is unfathomable, and yes somewhat ironic with the movie being a form of entertainment involving kids killing kids, the movie was not as violent as the descriptions in the book. That said, there are some pretty graphic scenes involving the initial blood bath making it worthy of the name. They are quick, images of the dead bodies happen in a flash, but the blood and gore in those brief moments is pretty visceral. I really liked the selection of actors and their portrayal of the characters. This might be a surprise, but I was most nervous about Cinna. Thank goodness Mr. Kravitz pulled it off with a believable and sincere performance, even in gold eyeliner. One thing to add: if you have not read the book (which is not very likely, but it could happen) I suggest you see the film version first. This is only because The Hunger Games is often a love, hate relationship for many readers. If you like the film, you will love the book. If you dislike the film, especially the child violence, you will hate the book. This is not at all like what I would usually suggest, book lover that I am, but I really believe it to be true. This movie gives the view some things you think about, to chew on as it were. The messages of resourcefulness, heroism, and bravery are powerful. To me this movie is about how to endure some of the most dire circumstances and in the end standing up for yourself, for your beliefs, even when it means risking your own life. I didn't cry once in the film. I came close, but didn't. This must be some kind of miracle. 

Summary/Conclusion: I love, love, love the book and I like the move. There, I said it. Surprise, surprise. I went to this movie with my husband and we were surrounded on all sides by junior high age boys. Granted, this was nice when the theater erupted for the Avengers trailer and crickets were heard during Twilight, but it made for some obnoxious commentary during the film. One boy in particular over my right shoulder made it his business to voice every moment where movie plot did not correlate with book plot. This annoyed me to no end. However, despite their best efforts, even these young boys could not ruin the movie for me. I liked it enough to want to see it again in theaters and purchase it on Blue Ray when it is released. It follows the book as well as can be expected of any movie. 

My Vote: Go and see it, but leave little ones home. 

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