The odds were always in favour of The Hunger Games becoming a runaway success at the Box Office when it was released this weekend, but now the real question is, was it any good?
In a word, yes. It was good. Really good.
The build up to the games was tense, thrilling and pretty much exactly how I had imagined in it the books. The reaping was heartbreaking as Prim realised that her name had been called before her sister stepped in to take her place. At the Capitol, I loved the presentation of the tributes. Peeta and Katniss’ looked amazing in their flaming outfits, but wish we had seen a little more of the other districts costumes. The addition of scenes with President Snow and Seneca Crane were a nice touch and explained things that were not explicit in the book. Then it was into the arena and the killing began fast and furiously. Blood and tears were shed as the tributes turned on one another in the name of victory. The silence of the initial bloodbath at the cornucopia was haunting and I loved the way we saw the Gamemakers in action, engineering fireballs and muttations to take out the tributes.
As for the casting, despite all the debating that took place before the release I think the cast were great. Stanley Tucci was over the top and grotesque as Caesar Flickerman (those teeth!) whilst Elizabeth Banks was a perfect Effie Trinket, suitably hilarious and uptight. Lenny Kravitz was cool, calm and collected as the fantastic Cinna and a special mention has to go out to Isabelle Furhmann who was by far the stand-out tribute aside from the favourites of Katniss, Peeta and little Rue. The way she threw those knives was particularly impressive!
Josh Hutcherson’s charm shone through in Peeta as he won all our hearts with his interview and his resignation that the District 12 victor probably wouldn’t be him. Jennifer Lawrence killed it as Katniss and I defy anyone to not get chills when watching her shake with fear before entering the arena. It truly was amazing. And although we didn’t see much of him (not enough if you ask me) Liam Hemsworth was a strong Gale.
As with all book adaptations though, we were never going to be completely satisfied with the bits that they left out. It felt like they glossed over a lot of the important things in the book and focused more upon Katniss and her survival skills rather than the political aspect to the games. Even the blossoming romance between Katniss and Peeta felt forced and quite unbelievable, which I suppose it was to some extent, but it felt more real when I read it.
That being said it was a great film. I still would recommend people to read the books first, but that kind of goes without saying. All in all I would give it 4/5.