The Hunger Games (2012) The World Will Be Watching

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Having read the book that the movie is based on I can tell you that the film does follow the plot of the book but some things are different, some more glaring then others. Those that have read the book will see right off two things that just do not follow the book at all and the only thing I can think is that they had to change them for time constraints. The first is that the cat, Buttercup, is the wrong color and the other is that the mocking jay broach is found in the black market. The pin was supposed to be give to Katniss by the mayors daughter. There are other inconsistencies but can be forgive a bit due to the scope of things. In reality the book should have been divided up between more then one film but then no one would have understood the first film at all. That is how much content is in the book.

The first 20 minutes or so cover the first part or half of the book. In this we get a glossing over to setup for the games themselves. In this first part we are introduced to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) or Catnip as Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) calls her as he meets her in the wood. The two of them are hunting partners in the forbidden areas outside of District 12. The electrified fence is rarely powered as the pore for its use is needed for other parts of the district and the country of Panem. Kat hunts to be able to make sure that her mother Mrs Everdeen (Paula Malcomson) and her sister Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields) do not starve. Any food that she doesn’t use for her family gets sold in the local black market that even the guards use.

The movie glosses over the fact that her sister had a goat other then to tell her sister to sell the cheese from the goat. There is just so much left out and I know why they did it. I wish they could have made the film longer so that they could have filled in some of the huge gaps between the book and the film. There is even so much left out in the games itself. The scope of the book is along the lines of The Fellowship of The Ring but there just wasn’t enough hook in the first half of the book to make a film of it alone. Because of that we are stuck with what we have but at least what they did give us was done decent, for the most part. You can definitely tell that a great deal of the film was shot on a blue or green screen so that it could be all filed out in a computer. You can easily tell that the horses and the riders were shot so that they could be done as a special effect. I would even guess that each chariot was filmed separately and then the whole thing assembled in the computer.

I started out saying just a few things were off in the film but as I go on and one I see the star rating dropping fast for this film which is a damned shame. The acting was good for the lines that they were given but good acting can never make up for a chopped up script. The film makers had too much that they had to work with to be able to pull this off properly. You could say that this film is the cliff notes of the cliff notes of The Hunger Games book. I thought it would get a five and then as I went it dropped to a four and now I am stuck with a three. It is a decent film to watch but if you read the book you will be picking it apart for good or for bad. The script really did need to be done a different way but I don’t know what way with all the condensing that they had to do. They didn’t even show Kat giving the sleeping draft to Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) so that she could go to the cornucopia to get the medicine for him. Even that didn’t seem right as I saw in my mind something more along the lines of a real golden cornucopia and not the metal monstrosity that they put on film.

I know that President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is played by a very good actor but in the books he was a smallish person an not the tall man that you see in the film. I really do wish that more of the book and less Hollywood could have been put in the film. The book really is a very good read and the film doesn’t really do it the justice that it deserves. At least they found a good actor for Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), he just wasn’t fat enough in my oppinon for the roll. And what happened to the tributes talking about Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and her wacked out hair and makeup, that should have stayed in.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★☆☆☆