I’ve always been a reader. I get that from my Dad, who was a school librarian. One of the more recent books (or indeed, trilogy of books) that he recommended highly was The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Liking to read a series straight through, I put off reading these until all 3 books had been released, and last year, shortly after the final book (Mockingjay) was released, I went about reading them.
Due to their low reading-age, I shot through them pretty fast (I think it took me about a week, with school work at the same time), and I loved every minute of them, so needless to say I was happy when I heard that they would be turned into a film. Happy, but also wary, as many a great book have been turned into a mediocre, or bad film before. A particularly recent example being the third Harry Potter movie, which left much of the original book out, leaving fans disappointed. My wariness was further backed up upon learning that the third book, Mockingjay, would be transformed into two films, much like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Breaking Dawn. Nevertheless, I kept an open mind, and tonight, the first screening I could find in Hull, I went to see the first film of four (dragging Russ, Danny, and Rob along with me).
To keep this short, I will say that, as a fan, I really enjoyed the film. I thought it stuck closely to the book, while bringing in some new elements, which are no doubt to make some explanations in the second book easier. The scenery was brilliant, can’t complain about the acting, and the casting was very good too, although they didn’t cast Darren Criss in the role of Cinna, but Lenny Kravitz did a pretty good job. There were, however, some small problems with the movie that I feel I have to mention to balance out this opinion. I felt that the film-makers made a big problem when they decided to go for a 12A rating, cutting out much of the blood which would be present if someone was being stabbed 5 times. These cuts were announced earlier this week, but I still feel let down that the cuts were this huge. No blood is un-realistic, and broke the bubble for me.
At times, the camera-work was great, and did a good job keeping focused on what it should be, however, at other times I felt that it was bad. For fight scenes, the director chose to use hand-held, juttery style filming, very a-la Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, however this time, the cameramen did not pull it off, and certain fight scenes were more than a little confusing.
All of this aside, I did thoroughly enjoy the film, and probably will go and see it again while it is in cinemas. I feel as a fan of the book, it is a good representation of the book, and the general consensus from Russ, Danny and Rob (who hadn’t read the book) was that it was good. A bit of explaining was needed for them to truly understand the ending, but overall, I can’t complain, and I cannot wait for Catching Fire!