Seen by many to be the most anticipated movie of 2012, I had very high expectations of ‘The Hunger Games’. This new book to screen adaptation has been dubbed as the new ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Twilight’, but I disagree strongly with this and The Hunger Games is a phenomenon in its own right and with a novel as unique as this, there’s no reason to compare it to those gone before it.
The Hunger Games has a completely unique plot line which is absolutely gripping from start to finish. After an unsuccessful uprising in North America by the thirteen districts of Panem, a ‘reaping’ (it’s more like a raffle really), is held every year to remind the remaining twelve districts of the authority of the Capital. During this ‘reaping’, twenty-four children are chosen, one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts, to participate in ‘The Hunger Games’. These children are taken away from their districts and placed into an arena where they must fight til the death. There can only be one victor and this winner will receive fame and glory. Katniss and Peeta are the two contestants from District 12, the poorest and least prepared of all the districts, that must compete in the 74th annual Hunger Games and it is the stories of these two that we follow whilst they’re in the arena, where some unexpected things happen.
As far as book to film adaptations go, I would have to say that this is one of the best. There were several moments in the film where the scene was the exact image that I had had in my mind whilst reading the book. The plot sticks to the original story line as much as possible, though obviously with some bits taken out. I was completely astounded at how well they brought the images from the book onto the screen and I think ‘The Hunger Games’ deserves a very big round of applause for this. At no point whilst watching the film did I think, ‘Oh, the book is so much better’, in fact, the film has made me love and appreciate the novel, where this story began, all the more. It’s been a very long time since I read The Hunger Games, but as I was watching, I remembered the exact extracts from the book from which they originated.
The Hunger Games is sort of a mixing of the old with the new as the districts live in impoverished conditions whilst the rich live in technical splendor. The mixing of these two was done perfectly and the effects of the modern scenes was mesmerising, as were the scenes of nature. I’ve never seen a film where the two meshed so perfectly together and I was really pleased to see the coming together of old and new done so well.
Many people are under the impression that The Hunger Games revolves around a teenage romance, which it does not, I repeat, it does not. Whilst there are a couple of romantic elements to the plot, this is seen as a dystopia story. That said, I found myself rolling around on the floor in some scenes because I’m a big Peeta-Katniss fan and there are some scenes which make your heart pound.
I literally just finished watching the film and I’m on such a high. I recommend this film to everyone who loves a good film and fans shouldn’t be afraid of this ‘ruining’ the series, because it definitely doesn’t. In terms of quality (and plot), I believe this film surpasses Twilight by far, though unfortunately, the fan base is not as large as this story deserves. Being a massive Potter-head, I can’t say that this is better than Harry Potter, but it’s definitely a very, very, close second on my list of favourite books and films. I’m literally buzzing after watching this film and I can’t wait to watch it again and again and again!