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The Hunger Games (by Chris)

Posted on the 27 March 2012 by Kittyfairy @KittyFairy
The Hunger Games (by Chris)I was always going to approach The Hunger Games film with high expectations because I enjoyed the books so much and the mainly positive reviews from critics served to bump up my high level of expectations even further. Thankfully the hunger games impressed me as a book adaptation and as a film in its own right. So, what's good about the film.
Gary Ross made the wise decision to flesh out the book by showing more of the game makers in action. When I heard about the decision to add to the story I was worried that it might distract from the drama faced by Katniss. I can safely say that it turned out perfectly. The film simply would not have worked if it was a straight port of the book because that was told from the viewpoint of katniss. It was interesting to see how certain aspects of the book were implemented into the film, the extra moments with the game makers and President Snow for instance, as they added some much needed information about the world of Panem. I believe these scenes were necessary for people who haven't read the books.
The Hunger Games (by Chris)The games don't occur until about halfway through the film, however the build up to that particular event is well paced. Over that time we are introduced to the main characters of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta as well as the supporting  characters including Primrose Everdeen, Effie Trinket, Haymitch Abernathy and the infamous President Snow. The characters came across exactly how I had pictured them in the books and that is a rare thing indeed. 
For me, the casting was spot on. Jennifer Lawrence played the perfect Katniss. She came across as strong and independent but with an underlying weakness that made her human.Woody Harrelson played Haymitch well despite a few negative opinions from some critics. It was as if all those cast in the film were born to play the characters from the book. There was a sense of familiarity often lost in book to film translations. For me however the best casting choice was Donald Sutherland as President Snow. If the word sinister had a picture in the dictionary, it would be a picture of Sutherland in character as Snow.
The Hunger Games (by Chris)The film is filled with some dazzling effects from the subtle to the spectacular. Some of the best effects are found in the arena from fire balls to the deadly Tracker Jackers. Some Hollywood films are laden with over the top CGI but The Hunger Games got it just right. The only effects in the film that came across as tacky are those found in the parade sequence. The "girl on fire" looked more like a girl surrounded by bad special effects. That's my only gripe though. (Kat also wanted me to add something that she forgot to include in her own review, that she had felt that the Parade Sequence had been quite "naff" and corny!)
The set pieces are impressive from the old fashioned look of District 12 to the pristine appearance of the Capitol. District 12 looks like a backwater town from early 1900s America, from the clothes to the run down buildings, which is appropriate since it is oppressed by the government.
Overall opinion
This is an excellent film that is extremely faithful to the book and above all it is accessible to fans of the book and non fans alike. For a film that runs over two hours in length it moves along at a pretty swift pace. Jennifer Lawrence shines as Katniss and the supporting cast play their parts well without taking their on screen presence too far. The film does have its faults however but they don't distract from the film as a whole. And for once we have a film that is great because it didn't remained faithful to the book. The extra scenes make for a very well rounded film, a film that is most certainly worth a look.
Score: 8.4/10

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