Dad Says: The Hunger Games has already achieved “worldwide phenomenon” status. The books were a runaway hit and the film is smashing records for opening weekend. Strong word of mouth should continue to fuel the fires of big box office returns for many weeks to come.
There are two distinct audiences for this film: those who read the books and those who haven’t. It seems to me that the film was really made for the former group. There are several major plot beats that go without explanation in the film but are well-familiar to fans of the book. Interestingly enough the Mockingjay pin, which is the centerpiece of the film’s marketing, is barely acknowledged in the film. In the book any reference to the mockingjay is an insult against the Capitol because it serves as a reminder of their failed attempts at espionage. In the film, Katniss’ pin is just something she found on a counter at Greasy Sae’s with no further exposition provided.
Finer points aside, you don’t have to have read the book to appreciate The Hunger Games. The film stands on its own as a solid movie. The only real negative for me was the cinematography in the action sequences. It looked like someone strapped a camera to a weasel with seizures during the fight scenes. And occasionally the film makers chose a grainy look for certain sequences that detracted from the overall look.
The Hunger Games, the movie, is very faithful to The Hunger Games, the novel. As with any adaptation, the film has to make some sacrifices to fit into a reasonable running time (The Hunger Games clocks in at a hefty 142 minutes). While there are some accommodations for a different medium, the spirit of the story rings true to the book.
The Hunger Games is an excellent film that earns the highest recommendation that I can give, which is to say that it is worth seeing in the theater. You should not wait to see this one on DVD.
To squeeze a book that size into a two-hour movie gave me doubts but it was pretty good, although they did leave out some key parts from the book. This movie was very good but in my opinion the book always trumps the movie and this time it was no exception. The Twilight series had team Edward or Jacob; The Hunger Games has Team Gale or Peeta. My dad will tell you otherwise but Gale is better.