In its first opening weekend, 'The Hunger Games' is already busy setting box office records . Featuring Jennifer Lawrence as the heroine Katniss Everdeen, the movie is an adaptation of the popular book series by Suzanne Collins. Being a fan of the series, I have been looking forward to seeing the book come to life on screen.
Set in a distant future of what seems to be the United States, the country is divided into 12 districts and ran by the Capitol who rules the land with an iron fist and fear. All of the districts are subjected to an annual event as a punishment for its past attempts at uprisings known as the hunger games. It serves as a lesson to show the districts how powerless they are. Each district is required to send two 'tributes' for the event. One boy and a girl between the ages of 12-18 are chosen in an annual lottery. All the tributes are put into an arena for a fight to the death until only one is left alive. When Katniss's 12 year old sister is chosen in the lottery, Katniss volunteers herself in her sister's place. She promises her sister that she will do her best to try to win and we are taken away to the Capitol to watch the Hunger games and all of its spectacles unfold.
It is always difficult to capture the same amount of connection with reading a book than with watching a movie. The author has a much wider range of medium to create the connection to the storyline and the characters. 'The Hunger Games' does do a good job of staying very close to the book. With that being said, there's some downfalls as well. The only characters who really felt close to the book was Jennifer's portrayal of Katniss and Stanely Tucci as Caesar Flickerman. Even with its length of over 2 hours, the other characters did not have enough screen time to develop a connection. I was expecting much more from Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Cinna (Lenny Kravitz). Maybe having read the book did cause me to have much bigger expectations. Oh well. Overall, if you are a fan of the series, I feel the movie does do the book justice and I'm sure you have already seen the movie by now. If you are new to the series, I think reading the series first would be a good idea, unless you'd just rather get the Cliff's notes version. I'm not judging.
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 86%, Audience-95%
Yong's Rating- 3.5/5 Stars