Review: The Hunger Games (THG Movies #1)

Review: The Hunger Games (THG Movies #1)The Hunger Games * by Gary Ross
Series: The Hunger Games movies #1
Also in this series: Catching Fire *, Mockingjay Pt 1 *, Mockingjay Pt 2 *
Released by Lionsgate on 12 March 2012
Genres: Dystopia
Length: 2h 22m
Source: Seen in cinema
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks

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Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.

Today I went to see The Hunger Games for the first time. I was wearing my District 12 bracelet, my District 2 nail polish, and I bought along my sister so I wouldn’t have to go all on my own. In a quick, spoiler-free sentence I can tell you that I enjoyed this first movie, but there were some small things that I didn’t enjoy that much.

What I noticed, first of all, was that this movie wouldn’t solely be from Katniss’ point of view, like the books were. That I enjoyed very much. I had always wanted to know what went on behind the scenes of the Games, and now in this movie, we got to see that. We saw the Gamemakers creating the fire that drove Katniss closer to the other tributes. We saw Claudius Templesmith and Ceaser Flickerman give the audience some details about the games in between, I honestly loved seeing that!

The differences between District 12 and the Capitol were immense, here we were in District 12, a poor miners village where people live in shabby houses and don’t have a lot of money to spare (or none at all, actually). And then we went onto the Capitol which I guess is a fashion designer’s paradise. The costumes the Capitol inhabitants wore were sometimes amazing and sometimes incredibly ridiculous. I just loved seeing all those different styles.

As for the casting, I think they did an incredible job. The tributes were all so well cast, they all looked like teenagers even though some of the actors were in their twenties already. View Spoiler » I loved Jennifer as Katniss and Josh as Peeta. I wasn’t too sure about Liam as Gale though, but I think he has kind of grown on me (he’s a Hemsworth, you gotta love them Hemsworths).

Then onto the parts that I didn’t like. The careers kind of felt like they were not in a deadly game but actually playing on a playground or something like that. When I first saw it I kind of thought it was hilarious, but now that I’ve had the time to think about it, it’s kind of creepy. Yes, it shows really well that these districts (1, 2 and technically 4 though the girl from 4 was left out of the career pack) were trained to become brutal warriors but I don’t know it just felt really weird. And the shaky camera effect was probably the worst part ever. I get that they wanted to simulate us as audience running along with the tributes, but in 3D it really made me nauseous and I think that even in 2D it will look awful.

View Spoiler »

So yeah, I honestly did enjoy this movie, but the main thing that kind of ruined it for me was that awful shaky camera thing that apparently the director thought was a brilliant idea. If you’ve read the book, you should definitely check out the movie. I myself am looking forward to Catching Fire, which comes out in November next year! (Such a long wait though!)