‘Hunger Games’ movie stays true to the book
Based on the Suzanne Collins novel of the same name, “Hunger Games” focuses on Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as a young woman living in a future dystopian society. She is a citizen of one of 12 districts controlled by an over bearing government centered in a city simply known as the Capital.
Due to a rebellion decades earlier, each district must send a teenage boy and girl, called tributes, to meet and battle to the death yearly. The survivor receives riches and glory.
There is a minor love triangle that starts to form between Katniss, her long time best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and her fellow district 12 tribute Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). This is really just a set up, with the meat of this issue most likely to take place in the two sequels already scheduled for production.
Hutcherson has just the right touch when bouncing between shy and charming like the character requires. Hemsworth is such a small part that he ends up not making much of an impression at all.
“Hunger Games,” runs for almost two and a half hours, but keeps such a furious pace one barely notices. The focus is the action, and things are constantly moving forward. Collins wrote the screenplay which stays truer to the book than most Hollywood movies.
There are some differences from the book that may bother some long-term fans. The mocking jays, which are a huge symbol of rebellion in the book, become nothing more than a logo in the movie. A few minor characters are completely left out, though not in any way that really affects the overall story.
Elizabeth Banks turns in the top performance of the film with her portrayal of Effie Trinket, the tributes escort to the capital. Her makeup is so out there that many people will not even recognize it was her until the credits roll. She plays the outlandish Trinket to perfection, and steals most of the scenes she is part of.
Woody Harrelson also excels in his role as Haymitch Abernathy, the tributes mentor for the games. Harrelson easily fits into the role of a past prime drunk. His humor and sass fit perfectly into a role that might as well have been written for him.
The costuming at the capital is quite impressive. There are hundreds of characters that stand out for their distinctive style. While a common theme can be seen, each person stands out as an individual. The colors are bold, and it’s hard for them not make an impression on the eyes.
The set design is very strong. The capital is impressive with its modern look and sleek styling. In contrast, district 12 and the arena where the games take place are cold and have a much more natural environment. The differences between these areas become clear. There are obvious differences from the haves and the have-nots.
“Hunger Games,” is packed with tons of action and plenty of violence that somehow manages to stay within a PG-13 rating.
It should prove popular with today action oriented and fast paced youth. Fans of the book should find it true enough to enjoy while new fans should find enough action and adventure to keep them entertained.