“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”
The odds have certainly been in The Hunger Games favor since it made its tremendous debut from book to theaters on March 21, 2012.
The Hunger Games officially passed the $300 million mark at the box office with the second highest sales in the shortest amount of time. Avatar is the only movie to precede The Hunger Games in sales—even the Harry Potter and Twilight series were no competition to the first installment of the megahit trilogy.
As The Hunger Games hype remains, critics are quick to compare the book to the movie.
The Hunger Games offers thought-provoking and compelling messages. Concepts of loyalty and teamwork are demonstrated with the encapsulating power of love and determination to conquer all.
The setting takes place in distant Panem, which is composed of 12 districts that are under the dictatorial authority of the Capitol.
Following rigorous tradition, every year one boy and one girl from each district are selected at random to compete in the Hunger Games. The televised games broadcast the barbarous fight to the death and they’re a reminder of the districts’ submission to the totalitarian Capitol.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) from District 12 volunteers as the female tribute in place of her younger sister, Prim. Also from District 12, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is chosen as the male tribute to compete in the dystopia of the Hunger Games.
Everdeen, 16, is the foundation of the plotline, captivating the audience with her portrayal as a bold and selfless girl who is determined to save the people she loves. It’s through exciting, provoking and poignant turns the story line develops.
In the process of refashioning a book into a film, it’s evident that changes must be made to transform a 374 page novel into a 2 1/2 hour long motion picture. Luckily, author Suzanne Collins wrote the screenplay alongside the director so the supporting characters, dialogues and scenes accurately depict Collins’ vision.
To an outside spectator, the concept of the winner-kills-all-and-takes-all bloodbath sounds savage and callous, but the compelling balance between adventure, romance and science fiction makes the plot a success.
The concept of The Hunger Games proves how entirely desensitized their society has become to the point that people watched teenagers kill each other and without being phased in the least.
The movie plotline parallels the book nearly synonymously, but as always, I recommend reading the book before seeing the movie.
The book provides greater depth and detail to the characters and gives insight to their thought processes and strategy. The relationships that are built are more developed in the book. Readers feel more connected and personally attached to the characters. Because the book is told in first person and the movie is displayed in third person, characters roles shift on a minor scale from the book to the movie.
The movie visually provides a succinct way for viewers interested to quickly get their fill on The Hunger Games hype whereas the book gives background information, elongated relationships and explanations of the characters’ decisions and motivations.
The movie moves quick enough to keep viewers from asking too many questions but captures the significant details and descriptions that the book portrayed.
After completing the easy read book in an afternoon, I was in eager anticipation for the potential of the movie portrayal. I had high hopes coming in. Needless to say, my expectations were satisfied.
I couldn’t have been more pleased with the cast that was selected to depict each of the characters in The Hunger Games. They truly owned their characters and portrayed accurate personalities and tendencies that the characters in the book had.
For the book and movie, I give them: Four out of five stars
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