Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Hunger Game -review

The Hunger Games was at the top of my must-see  films of 2012.Having read the trilogy and loving it,does the film live up to its expectation?I have to say a big YES.

Being a story told through a first-person narrative,I was doubtful and was wondering how Gary Ross would adapt the bestseller novel.We saw how it bombed with Twilight.I don't wanna waste my time with the plot as many of might be aware of it by now.If not check my post here and here.
The film is 98% faithful to the novel and that is huge.The only new scenes would be the rebellion scene in district 11 and conversation between Seneca and President Snow.

Gary Ross manages to capture all the emotions brilliantly from the start of the film where you see the the children  walking for the reaping wearing their pale tone clothes to the colourful and cheerful Capitol.I loved how he portrayed the difference of the two main lead beautifully without being loud to your face.
The scene where both Katniss and Peeta was being brought to the train ,you get to see how the two characters are different.You see Katniss trying to suppress her emotions while Peeta crying not caring about people seeing him.You get to see again how Peeta manages to adapt  and charm the capitol citizen  as soon they  reached the Capitol by waving and smiling while Katniss still find it difficult to be likable.The movies had a lot of those kind of scenes.
The screenplay was superb and manages to have the momentum going from the start till the end.However the editing of the film could have been better.Numerous blurry shots did cause some headaches.
On the performances of the actor,Jennifer Lawrence carries the film as Katniss Everdeen.I have said it a number of times and will say it again that casting Jennifer as Katniss is the best choice the team had made.she is born to play this role.The is so much parallel of her role in the Winter's Bone and  Katniss.Both are woman who need to be older than their age in order to survive and Jennifer manages to capture that tough but vulnerable Katniss in every scene she is in.She gives a soulful performance throughout the film.Another standout would be Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark.From the moment he is introduced as the tearful boy chosen as tribute beside Katniss who is standing fearfully to the moment they win the game,Josh Hutcherson charms us with his innocence mixed with awkwardness and subtle performance.I do believe that their chemistry worked in the film though they look just like brother and sisters in real life.Stanley Tuccci as the flamboyant host and Elizabeth Banks as the over the top escort both did a commendable job and added humour to the film.However it was Woody Harrelson as the cynical mentor that stands out of the supporting cast.Isabelle Fuhrman,Alexander Ludwig,Amanda Statenberg all shine with a limited screen time they were given.

 The costume department and the Art direction department really was the best technical aspects of the film.The costume designs in the film is amazing.I guess the two time Oscar nominee Judiana must have been satisfied as she used almost all the colours in the spectrum to create colourful costumes.The sets for the capitol training centre and the interior of the train and the hotels looks amazing.The looks of the Avox was superb.The music score by T Bone  Burnett and James Newton Howard was another plus point of the film.While the eerie score in the beginning of the film set the tone of the first half ,the second half was a mixture of modern and traditional music(I believe I heard some Chinese influence musics in the scenes in arena)

The visual effects was a big letdown.Being a big budgeted film,I expected the visual effects to be great.The dress/fire scene ,the train and the Mutts looks like  the CG that you find in a  cheap low quality film.However the Capitol does look amazing.Another negative point would be the lack of violence .I'm not asking for Spartacus or 300  like violence but some violence to show the audience how deadly the tournament is.The lack of violence gives the film a juvenile feel.It does make me wonder how would they handle the next film as the next film would be  mostly about war and its aftermath and of course the Quarter Quell.I just hope they would never emphasise the so call love triangle as the novel never does that.

Overall.The Hunger Games is a good adaptation of the novel with amazing performance from the cast especially Jennifer Lawrence with  some technical aspects that should have been better considering the budget.

Possible Oscar Nominations:

Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design- Judiana Markovsky
Best Original Score-T Bone& James  Newton Howard



Daniel Spicer said...

Cool review. I am also a fan of the first book, and I intend to read the whole trilogy soon. Please check out my review. Cheers.

F.FRANKLIN said...

do read the trilogy..its really different than the other YA books