Directed by: Gary Ross
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Colour, 142 Minutes
After all the hype, hate and conversation over this book adaptation, I finally decided to go watch it in the cinema. Although I expected a little bit more from the film’s glorious source matter of literature, the film definitely has great performances and well-constructed editing as well as a morally challenging plot involving kids slaughtering one another. The concept is golden for it shows the evil and inhumanity of what could be a pessimistic future for the sake of entertainment. The Hunger Games will please some, but others will find it a slow and boring story.
It is true that the film is quite slow, and compared to what you would expect this film to have (being quite a bit of action), we are left mostly with tension and running around in forests. I felt the film could have shown more of the gaming side to what the kids were doing and make more of the characters attachable and distinctive. We are left with mainly one protagonist and a character we don’t really know for other than loving the protagonist.
The performances from Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcheson were fairly great, and they definitely show potential for the future. Especially Lawrence who boasted an emotionally charged performance.
For the first 25 minutes, the camera work was quite bad as it constantly jerked around in its attempt to give realistic feel. I understand filmmakers use freehand to make their shots look more dynamic, but it was quite dizzying for the first 20-30 minutes. However, the cinematography makes up for this surely as the film definitely has some visual delight with its future set designs and costume designs.
The story I think is great: a tale set in the future were adults have set a inhumane competition were kids slaughter one another- all for entertainment’s sake. The film lacked depth and did not show enough despite it’s runtime. At times, the characters felt hollow and the film’s progression could have had more thrill factor to it. Nevertheless, The Hunger Games has some great decision making and a morally challenging plot that will likely interest fans of the book and film lovers alike.
Verdict: Lacks development and characterisation, but offers some nice visuals and an engaging plot.