Can you believe the hype surrounding the Hunger Games and how everyone and their mother has gone to see it? Of course you can because you were probably the one who saw it. The readers who have seen the film and have read the books are experiencing Hunger Game/Great Adaptation Movie Goggles which, in reality, the film was a poor adaptation of what seemed to be a great book. People don't get it and complain to me when I tell them that I have not read The Hunger Games. Should I have?
Movies are a universal form of entertainment while books are not. Sure, we get those universal book franchises that span hundreds of languages and connect with people from Americans to Russians, like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, but not the Hunger Games which has only sold 36.5 million copies globally. Compared to Harry Potter's 150 million, Twilight's 75 million, and LOTR's 150-200 million, Hunger Games is just a meer child in the arms of producers who have no imagination and need to make a film. I have never bought a Hunger Games book and I have never read anything on the Hunger Games, so going into the theater I was hyped up and ready to watch an epic, emotional movie. What I got was 2 1/2 hours of bad pacing and no character development.
Problem: Screenwriter. The books, as I have read the synopsis, are in the first person view of Katniss from District 12. When adapting a book to a film and trying to convert first person into third person, there is always stuff that will be left out. I actually think that if the writer left the film in first person narrative it would have been a whole lot better, but he tried converting it to an unnecessary third person narrative that gave the story a cardboard feeling.
What was with Liam Hemsworth's character (Gale)? In the book he was probably big, but in the film there was no reason for him to be there. He had one (1) scene in the entire movie. He was unnecessary in the film. That was 10 minutes of scene time that could have gone to Peeta or Katniss for more emotional development.
How about all the characters? What a huge and great cast this was, but was it all really necessary in telling this story. Most of the characters came off flat, and when I mean flat, I mean Cinna. Lenny Kravitz is awesome, but Cinna did not have much too do and was another waste of time. Haymitch seemed too rushed. Half the time I did not know why he was drunk or what he was doing. How was I suppose to know that he was talking to sponsors to give Katniss help? Yes, "read the book." But this is a film. My spanish speaking father saw Harry Potter and LOTR without reading the books, and he enjoyed them. This film would just confuse him.
The RATING: There is a film that is like the Hunger Games except its better for 1 reason. It doesn't make kids dying look funny. It is called Battle Royale and it is a japanese film about kids killing kids in a game to survive. It is rated R and a hundred times better than the Hunger Games in action. COME ON, if I don't feel anything for the characters since the development wasn't there, give me some action to love. No. Then I don't know why people love this film. I tried not to laugh when the kids died, but it just came out at times.
If this film was half an hour longer (even 15 minutes longer) then it would have been better. It is a large film with many, many sets that just could not bring everything together.
For fans of the book, you will probably enjoy the film, but I feel that the film should have had a disclaimer at the beginning saying, "YOU MUST READ THE BOOK BEFORE WATCHING THIS FILM OR ELSE YOU WILL NOT UNDERSTAND ANY OF IT." Because, there was a lot of back story problems that could have been cleared up with simple exposition, but it wasn't.