Parallel Tuesdays

Is the Hunger Games a Winner?

The Hunger Games, the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘s best-selling novel, opened this weekend amid much fanfare and jubilation. Although I usually avoid opening weeks like bad sushi, especially when a movie gets this much fuss, I couldn’t resist checking it out. And, just as the novel unexpectedly seized my imagination, so did the movie.

I watched, stunned, as the world of Panem came alive in all its vibrant color and darkness. From the brutal poverty of Katniss‘s District 12 to the obscene wealth and frivolity of the Capitol. From the horror of children killing children for the amusement of the ruling class to the heroism of ordinary people. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) in her resourcefulness and determination. Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) in his quiet strength. Rue in her cleverness and sweetness. The Career Tributes in all their hideous thirst for blood. From the machinations of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) to the transformation of Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), the last winner from District 12, from drunkard to mentor and fierce supporter of Katniss and Peeta. From the intense drama of Katniss volunteering as tribute in the place of her younger sister, Prim, to the brutality of the fighting and killing scenes, to the tenderness of Katniss singing to Rue to sleep as the girl dies.

Even the elements I was most concerned about were handled with grace. The back story. The blossoming love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale (Liam Hemsworth). And the genetically engineered animals (which honestly seemed a wee bit silly to me in the book).

In my mind, The Hunger Games is absolutely a winner.

If you’ve been hesitant to see this movie, I encourage you to give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Are you a fan of the novels? Have you seen The Hunger Games? Why or why not? If you did see the movie, what did you think?

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Image from The Hunger Games (fair use)
Image from The Hunger Games (fair use)

21 thoughts on “Is the Hunger Games a Winner?

  1. I haven’t read the novels and probably won’t, but I will say the movies look like quality movies, unlike that other franchise it’s being compared to. The acting looks top notch, as do the effects. And I suppose that has to do with a lot better core content to work with.

    Thanks for the review.

  2. I’ve just finsihed the book so I think I will see the movie. There is something in it, something very real that both frightened me and got me thinking.

  3. I was thoroughly surprised at how much I enjoyed the novels. I read them at the insistence of my granddaughter and found myself thoroughly engrossed with the story line. With your review, now I know I’ll have to see it!

  4. I want to read the book before I see the movie.. but I don’t think it will happen. The movie looks amazing!

    Though, I will probably wait til it is out on Netflix or on demand…

  5. Great minds think alike! I too rushed to see the film and blogged about it. I thought they did a really good job considering all that they had to include in a short time frame. I’m curious how the mockingjay will come back into play in the other movies as I felt it was a little downplayed in the first movie.

    And, I want to steal Effie Trinket’s wardrobe.

  6. I too loved both the books and the movie, I think they did a really good job of staying as close to the book as they could in the time. Brilliant film! 😀

  7. Saw the movie and I loved it. I had a couple of small issues with liberties they took (I have to keep reminding myself Book & movie, two different mediums) but overall it was way better than I thought and wished.

  8. I haven’t read the books, and was ho-hum about the movie. After seeing the movie version of *1984* with John Hurt (a very long, but very brilliant adaptation – which, by the way was filmed, in 1984 during the same months as the novel takes place) I’ve shied away from dystopian stories. I guess I assume they’ll be too depressing.

    But my wife and I went, and I think Hunger Games s a great movie. It’s very well done – it kept me on the edge of my seat. Also, it’s a wonderful example of efficient story telling. There are these little scenes and shots that I’m betting are whole chapters in the novel, but are summed up in that one short montage. Really well done.

    1. I haven’t seen the movie version of 1984. All have to check it out. It’s true the dystopian stories can be pretty depressing.

      With The Hunger Games, I like that they condensed some of the back story. I think it did flow well in the film version.

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