The Hunger Games
German Titel: Die Tribute von Panem – The Hunger Games
Puplishing Year: 2012
Regie: Gary Ross
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci,
Lenny Kravitz, …
English Website »»
German Website »»
Novels written by:
In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided between 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. (Source: imdb.com)
My thoughts about the movie:
I’ve already read some critics about that movie on other blogs and most of them were very happy about the movie and the adaption from the book, as well as about the cast and the general atmosphere, which was created in the film. Unfortunately, I don’t completely understand this many positive critics because parts of it didn’t work for me at all and it has happened what I’ve been afraid of before, namely that the film wasn’t able to hold a candle to the great book.
I also let myself hype for the movie by the whole advertisement of the last months and also the trailer which persuaded me to watch the movie right away and I could only hardly wait to see it. However, just to say it short – I was disappointed.
To one point I haven’t liked the camera work at all. The images were, already at the beginning at the ‚harvest’, so unsettled, wiggly and tangled, that I’ve already got a headache after 15 minutes of watching it. Though I reckon that they probably did that this way to also reflect the inner conflict and disruption of the protagonists and the system, but this was certainly ‚too of much‘.
As a countermove for that, the producers of the movie have very much hold back the special effects and the soundtrack and therefore everything appeared very secluded. What would have been quite nice, if I don’t know the books and hence this fact has created a complete different atmosphere for me, than the one I felt while reading the book.
This story tells a dystopia, a post-apocalypse and therefore it should have needed more tension, more power, more energy, but everything was taken back so much and some things also were played down like it didn’t happen in the book.
In the book you get drawn into a new world, carried away in a whirlpool of desperation, unbelief and brutality and everything happens frightfully fast and intensely, but here in the film it stretches slowly, like a small, splashing brook. For me it almost appeared like they did that on purpose and slow the tempo down and do everything to get the movie more ‚girly’ trimmed, so that they can copy the success of Twilight. But for me this hasn’t worked out at all and destroyed a lot of the meaning.
Unfortunately also of the Cast couldn’t persuade me and this not only because of the theatrical achievement, but also of their appearance. In my opinion Gale, Peeta and Prime were huge false choices, from their appearance and their looks and unfortunately also Cinna (Lenny Kravitz – whom I usually really like) wasn’t able to convince me..
However, but on the other side I think Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) was chosen greatly and she also has shown Katniss’ seriousness and her will very well. Also Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) was played very well and Harrelson has made a fantastic job to breathe life into his character. Also Effie and President Snow were very alike to the characters and how they were described in the book and I was contented with their performance. Especially with President Snow (Donald Sutherland) I had the same creepy prickle in the belly, like in the book, when he appeared on the screen.
I particularly liked very much the visual adaptation with the costumes and also with the surroundings and the scenery. First the authentic and miserable scenery in the district 12 and as the counterpart the colorful, florid and decadent ‚Capitol‘. These contrasts also reflected significantly the life situation, which shows that the people in the districts must fight for their everyday survival, while in the Capitol the people just swim in their superabundance. I think I’ve liked that fact the most in the movie, beside Katniss and Haymitch.
Also disappointing because there wasn’t really a soundtrack at all and therefore also no big feelings arose by the music like I appreciating it in other movies.
All in all:
An average film which one can have a look though, but not necessarily because there are better ones. If one liked to be motivated to reflex over serious topics and like Dystopias, one should let out the movie and read the books first because otherwise a lot of sense, feelings and atmosphere get lost..
3 of 5 points
This Film Critic is for the ‚Book2Movie – Challenge‘ 2012 !