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From Book to Big Screen – The Hunger Games Film Review

July 19, 2012

After being mesmerised by The Hunger Games trilogy in writing, I was intrigued to see how it would translate to moving picture. It was the same feeling as when the Harry Potter films were released, the only difference was that Warner Brothers had already created an image for me to follow as I only started reading the series after the first film or so. With The Hunger Games I had a specific image of every character and now I feel the film has pressured me into altering my perspective of it.

If I was to view the film without reading the books, I’m sure I would have loved every second of suspense and action, but I don’t appreciate the way a film has to deplete a story line in order to fit it into an allocated time slot. Although it was also for profit purposes, the way the producers created two Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films was necessary to give it an accurate image of it’s book original.

The Hunger Games book extends the action and it certainly makes the film seem fast paced. To a movie lover this is exactly what you want in a movie, energy and no chance to breath within the action. But in doing this it has deconstructed the sense of tension that is so beautifully projected within the book. Another thing that really wound me up was how Katniss receives the mockingjay pin. She is meant to be given it by the mayor’s daughter of District 12, as they are also mild acquaintances, and then later in the series it is revealed that there is a connection to the original owner of the pin. It is minor details like this that tear apart a brilliant book just to make successful film.

There were some moments of direction that I feel could have been better handled. The moment where Katniss shoots an arrow through an apple could have been made so much more immediate by simply showing the apple being speared, rather than showing Katniss preparing herself with aggression to do it. This moment comes across a lot more spontaneous in the book than the film.

This is definitely not a film to shoot down, as the second and third will definitely be just as action packed and overflowing with suspense. But don’t be afraid to do a bit of summer reading and embrace the printed word of Suzanne Collins.

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