Today was a big day for me. As a moderate Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson fan, I was intrigued from the moment I heard that they were cast in the upcoming ‘The Hunger Games’ movie last year. I hadn’t yet read the books, but I knew there was a large amount of hype surrounding the forthcoming movie but was always too busy to read the young adult novel. That is, until yesterday. After a hectic week of traveling and working as soon as I returned, I finally had a day off to myself and thought, “What better way to spend this day than to read ‘The Hunger Games,’ since I’ll be seeing it tomorrow.”
Like most books I’m drawn too, as soon as I got 20 pages in, I couldn’t put the book down. The book brought my imagination back to the forefront, as I pictured Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in every sentence that their characters Katniss and Peeta were in. The book was not only intriguing, but heartwarming, considering the motivation Katniss depended on to win. The story of the star-crossed lovers, and how they weren’t really in love with each other was both captivating and annoying because they seem so right for each other. Thanks to the enormous push in marketing for the film, and hype from others, the book did not disappoint.
Just a few hours ago, I sat down to watch the film at my local theater. I made it a point to try not to compare the book with the feature film, as there are normally many discrepancies and I tend to become frustrated midway through. The film started similar enough, Katniss and Gale come from District 12 in Panem, both hunters looking forward to a day when they aren’t so strictly governed, Katniss’ sister, Prim, is chosen to fight in the Hunger Games. Katniss volunteers herself and off she goes, along with Peeta to prepare for their duel. The discrepancies at this point aren’t too grating. Much emphasis was put, in the book, on Katniss’ and Peeta’s “relationship” and hamming it up for the audience. In the film, not so much.
It wasn’t until the actual games where I began to truly wish I hadn’t just read the book. Without spoiling too much, relationships were given enough time to form and many details were left on the cutting room floor. The attention to detail in the book is so well thought out that it’s almost as if you’re watching a film while reading. The film, however, skips many details, many characters, and the struggle that these individuals face. As much as these two part films of recent franchises can become annoying, and overbearingly long, I feel that a true adaptation from this particular book required two films. It’s not that there weren’t enough special effects or action, because there was. The story of Peeta and Katniss’ relationship simply falls flat in the film’s current state.
Keep in mind, this “review” is strictly opinion-based. I don’t mean to sound like a snob at all; however, the film simply didn’t do it for me. Upon future viewings, my mind may change. Don’t take my word for it though! The film has a strong 85% rating on rotten tomatoes meaning a great amount of critics enjoyed it. It also just pulled in $155 million over the past three days, making it the third highest grossing debut weekend for a film. Perhaps, the book touched me in a way that it didn’t, or I became too involved with the details. Whatever the case, I definitely suggest the movie to others and welcome opposing views. So what do you think? Sound off in a comment. ‘The Hunger Games’ is out now in theaters.