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The BG News
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November 30, 2023

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“The Hunger Games” -A reader’s perspective

A critique of the movie from a readers perspective

Grade: A

“The Hunger Games” is the story of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a young girl from District 12 in the country of Panem.

During the annual reaping, one girl and one boy from the 12 districts, between the ages of 12 and 18, are chosen to compete in the Hunger Games. The games are a fight to the death. Twenty-four tributes go in but only one may come out. The victor will be rich for the rest of their life, but the games will test the physical and mental strengths of each and every tribute. When Katniss’ younger sister Primrose is chosen for the games, Katniss volunteers herself instead. Katniss takes her place and promises she will try to win the games for Primrose and return to her alive.

I can say “The Hunger Games” is the best novel adaptation I’ve ever seen. Adaptations are often criticized for their inability to represent the source material as well as they should but “The Hunger Games” receives no such criticism.

The film did a lot of things right, but above all, I really liked the camera work and the adapted screenplay.

What I liked most about the camera work was its ability to convey the mental and physical states of the characters.

During the reaping scene the camera is a bit shaky and you often have close-ups on characters that aren’t the most balanced shots. The Reaping itself is a tense and scary time for District 12 so I think the camera work helps convey this. You almost feel your own stomach tensing up and find it hard to breath as the tributes are announced. Even knowing beforehand, having read the book, who would be picked I still felt tense watching the scene. It was a great and terrifying feeling all at the same time because you know the people of District 12, in the film, are feeling the exact same way.

I also really enjoyed the adapted screenplay simply because it stayed true to the source. I could tell when certain things had been cut from the story, because of time constraints, but Director Gary Ross still managed to make a film that was nearly two and a half hours long.

They didn’t hack and slash important plot points but merely left out some of the arduous details of the story. It was great because I could tell that even if someone hadn’t read the book they would still fully understand the story and why certain story lines were taking place.

My only problem with the film was the development of the characters. It seemed to me like the movie could have used another half hour or so to really help the audience connect with the characters and to understand their motivations for certain actions. One of the most important characters in the book, other than Katniss, is Rue. Rue is a small girl from District 11 but she doesn’t have the development the character truly needed. In the book, just as in the film, Rue is one of the tributes killed. And because Katniss has developed such a strong connection with this young girl she shifts her focus of winning for Prim to winning for Rue. But because of how the story plays out in the film you wouldn’t ever really understand why Katniss felt so strongly for her.

“The Hunger Games” is a fantastic film that has been brilliantly adapted and features great technical work by Director Gary Ross. And even though some characters don’t get the development they deserve, the film doesn’t falter because of it. For those who haven’t read the book but have seen the film, I’d definitely suggest giving the book a read. And those who have read the book and are skeptical to whether or not the film will do the book any justice, trust me you won’t be disappointed.

Tweet Nathan @The_BG_News with your thoughts on “The Hunger Games” and leave your comments in the comments section below.

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