Current Magazine

The Hunger Games Sates the Appetites of the Film Critics

Posted on the 20 March 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
The Hunger Games sates the appetites of the film critics

Mockingjay Pumpkin, carved by a fan. Photo credit: Apocaknits http://www.flickr.com/photos/apocaknits/6296665677/

The buzz is continuing to build around The Hunger Games film, which hits UK cinemas on 23 March. But is it going to live up to all the hype? Will fans of the books be satisfied by the adaptation? And what does it say about our teens that they are lapping up this dystopian, bloody fiction?

Social media is awash with excited Hunger Games chatter. Over 3 Million have already ‘Liked’ it on Facebook and there are at least six other ways to follow the Hunger Games on social media, according to Mashable. Two Methodist pastors, a father/daughter team, have even created a Bible Study centered around Collins’ novels called “The Gospel According to ‘The Hunger Games’ Trilogy.

A visual feast. Critics have generally praised The Hunger Games. Xan Brooks in the Guardian called it “harsh and satisfying; a candy-coated entertainment with a chip of ice at the center.”  Olly Richards in Empire pronounced it “as thrilling and smart as it is terrifying” while Matthew Leyland of Total Film was pleasantly surprised by “the lack of cheese.”

“What’s remarkable is the lack of cheese. Tacky effects, corny dialog and creaky performances are all shown the door. We repeat: not the new Twilight,” praised Matthew Leyland at Total Film

Love story not so delicious. Justin Chang in  Variety complained that “the central drama, pivoting on the nature of Katniss’ and Peeta’s relationship, never sparks to life.” Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter also felt the film falls short  in this “crucial area,” with the “gradations of her ambivalence and acceptance” that are conveyed so well in the book being “smoothed over to the point of blandness.” Matthew Leyland in Total Film wasn’t so concerned – her commented that “if the chemistry between Lawrence and the brooding Hutcherson isn’t quite sizzling yet, then there are three more films for it to catch fire.”

How accomplished an adaptation? For Xan Brooks in the Guardian, the film is “ably filleted from the Suzanne Collins bestseller.”  Indeed, it was never going to be anything but an “amply faithful adaptation” said Todd McCarthy in the Hollywood Reporter with “Collins on board as both a co-screenwriter and executive producer.” Justin Chang of Variety was less bowled over by the page-to-screen adaptation: “the film clings to Collins’ text as if it were itself a survival guide.”

Jennifer Lawrence: New pop-lit heroine on the block. In Jennifer Lawrence, we have a “hardscrabble heroine” said Xan Brooks in the Guardian. Justin Chang Variety described her as “a spunky protagonist who can hold her own alongside Bella Swan and Lisbeth Salander in the pantheon of pop-lit heroines.”

What does it say about our teens? Lucy Mangan in the Guardian saw The Hunger Games as the latest in a series of dystopian stories aimed at young adults in the last few years, such as the Uglies, Chaos Walking and Gone series, and novels such as Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and Blood Red Road by Moira Young. Set in “worlds full of cowed populations, tyrannical governments, post-nuclear, pollution-devastated, war-torn landscapes, corrupt elites, weaponised viruses and other assorted horrors” these tales “ask how we would function in extremis and test what it means to be human.” Do they “articulate the modern teenage experience (albeit an extreme version) of living with a wide and perpetual unease?”  wondered Mangan. She argued that these “apocalyptic but coherent, resolvable narratives are handbooks for mental survival.” Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite in the Washington Post On Faith blog suggested parents should pay attention to why their kids would be so attracted to these stories. She believed that young people fear for their future and “think they’re on their own in fighting for a better world.” She asked: “Can we tell them they’re wrong? Why would they believe us?”

More on film:

  • The Hunger Games: After Harry Potter and Twilight, is this the next big teen movie franchise?
  • John Carter
  • Bel Ami
  • Project X
  • Adam Sandler dominates the Razzies
  • Oscars 2012: The Winners
  • Oscar noms: Hugo out in front
  • The Artist: Reviews
  • Hugo: Reviews
  • Streep earns raves for Iron Lady

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Customer Service Can Kill Your Customer’s Experience

    Customer Service Kill Your Customer’s Experience

    With the advent of the Internet, social media, and instant communication via texting, customer expectations for service, as part of their entire customer... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • Sunday Bliss Is..

    Sunday Bliss Is..

    ..preparing this mouth watering coffee crème fraîche cheesecake in this gorgeous kitchen. Join the Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Myparadissi
    HOME, INTERIOR DESIGN
  • “I Own My Life and I Have Decided to Live Long and Well!”

    A couple of months ago we wrote about Linda, her new type 2 diabetes diagnosis and the initial success with low carb. But that was just the beginning. This is... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Beat the Press

    Beat Press

    Like many people, I’ve been re-reading 1984 and wondering what’s going on in a country I thought I knew. With clear evidence of wrong-doing on the part of the... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Steveawiggins
    POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Late May Update

    Late Update

    Apart from occasional successional sowings of salads, my sowing and planting for this year is mostly done. It's now time to sit back and watch things grow.... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Mwillis
    GARDENING, HOME
  • If You Are Inviting Fat People to Your Event…

    Inviting People Your Event…

    This weekend there are tons of BBQ’s and such going on here in the states, but events and meetings happen every day. And every day, fat people are “invited” to... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Danceswithfat
    DIET & WEIGHT, FITNESS, HEALTH
  • Mountain Berries & Desert Spice

    Mountain Berries Desert Spice

    Today I want to tell you about a beautifully evocative book that focuses exclusively on sweet inspirations from the Hunza Valley to the Arabian Sea, written by... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Mariealicerayner
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES

Paperblog Hot Topics

Magazines