I have wanted to see a film version of the Hunger Games ever since I read the book as part of a book club I belonged to. There was unanimous approval for the book and some members read the whole series as a result.
So I went to watch the film with high expectations and I would say for the most part, they were justified. I really enjoyed it but there were some niggling moments which made me think if I was to give it a number of stars up to five, I would give 4.5.
Why I loved it,
The concept is great, which is why the book was a best seller. It is a science fiction story which is worth watching. It has moments of brilliance and you could see it happen in reality some day. You might think no, humans could never be that cruel but just think about Hitler’s Nazis, the Gladiaters in ancient Rome and a hundred other examples in world history that have happened over the centuries. There are child soldiers even now forced to kill or be killed in some third world countries. You could argue that it was only 24 from that whole civilisation… per year…. for 70 odd years….
My favourite performance was of the Mentor and the ‘stylist’, they really gave the essence of what the book conveyed in words. They were both nice guys stuck in a horrific system, making the best of a bad situation.
The problen with reviewing a film from a book is there is a danger you end up reviewing the book not the film. The movie has to stand on its own merits and I think it does do it. There were a few tears shed during hte watching of the film which is always a good sign as you are investing in the characters. I found the film really depressing but the overall feeling as I left was that it was worth watching. Would I watch it again? Probably not because it was so depressing. It was a great sci-fi action adventure and I would recommend it to anyone to watch, even if it is just once.
There were only a couple of niggles that spoiled my enjoyment. The first was the close-up camera work. I was getting very frustrated with the tight angles and I had to look away sometimes. My husband said the same, however later when the ‘action’ starts this doesn’t present a problem and it does work.
The second was the music when she is hunting in the very first scenes. While my husband loved it, I found it like someone scraping fingernails down a blackboard. My whole body tensed until it was over. I really hated that scene – just for the choice of music. I found this really strange as music doesn’t usually bother me at all, It usually just pulls my emotional strings but this just irritated the hell out of me.
I loved the book and the film comes a close second. I would recommend it and give it 4.5 stars for the reasons explained above. It has a definite thumbs up from me and it could one day become a classic.