Happy Hunger Games

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By Haley Verre

Staff Writer

One of the most anticipated films this year was The Hunger Games, which was released in theaters March 23. This is the first film based on Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy, and followed the book closely.

The choice in actors was impressive and almost everyone suited their role perfectly.

Jennifer Lawrence, who played Mystique in 2011’s X-Men: First Class, was able to capture Katniss’ courage and compassion. Katniss’ internal dialogue is a major component of the novel, which displayed her rebellious and witty nature. This was not reflected in the film’s portrayal of Katniss, so her strong resentment towards the Capitol was not as clear.

Josh Hutcherson, who previously played Jess in the 2007 film Bridge to Terabithia, gave a convincing performance as Peeta Mellark, and displayed Peeta’s artistic, romantic nature with a seemingly genuine sensitivity.

The movie began with a dramatic scene in which  Katniss Everdeen volunteered to replace her sister Primrose as tribute in the annual Hunger Games, where twenty-four girls and boys are sent to the Capitol, a futuristic city. The scene in which Katniss and Primrose said what could be their last goodbye was heartbreaking, and demonstrated the cruelty of the Capitol.

A highlight of the film was the colorful, creative fashions of the Capitol, which met the standards of the book.

Yet, Katniss’ two costumes were disappointing compared to the novel’s description. Although beautiful, her red dress seemed too ordinary and present-day to be worn in a futuristic world.

When Katniss is in the Games, she befriends a younger tribute and forms an alliance with her. In the novel, the scene in which this young girl is killed is the most poignant part of the story. Katniss sings sweetly to her and decorates her with flowers, which displays an affection unlike other relationships between the tributes. This scene was not presented as well in the movie, and lacked the same sensitivity.

In one of the final scenes of the movie, a few tributes are attacked by vicious dogs created by those in charge of the Games. Although the dogs represented the dead tributes in the novel, this was not apparent at all in the film.

One downside of the movie was the camera work, which was shaky from the start. During scenes that involved fighting between the tributes, the camera went back and forth between the tributes so quickly that it was difficult to even tell who was fighting whom.

The fact that children between the ages of twelve and eighteen are forced to fight to the death is devastating, but emotionally moving.  To maintain a PG-13 rating, some violence was significantly downplayed, which may be more suitable to those easily disturbed by violence.