Today, I would like to start by preaching to you about a popular subject that has been bothering my brain for a while.
Film adaptations of Books
Let’s be Honest with ourselves for a blog or two, particularly to my bookworms out there.
When we hear the words ‘movie rights’ in relation to a book we hold close to our hearts, said hearts often soar too high with expectation. Past adaptations such as Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings or, more recently, John Carter may have taught us to walk into the cinema slightly more prepared for disaster than we would be after reading the press release or watching the trailer. In fact, the book and the film, though probably the same franchise, often turn into different entities altogether. One often being favored over the other by different groups of people. Sometimes the both of them are just plain awful (COUGH Twilight..okay, sorry, back to being ‘objective’), sometimes they’re both awesome. It’s all down to our own lovely, shiny opinions.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is, let us all just be nice to each other and our respective likes and dislikes and have tea and Smartie Cake together when it comes to discussing these films/books.
This is really just a simple observation I, and many others, have made that I needed to get off my chest. If you wish to keep this in mind while reading the following pile of nonsense, that would be really really nice.
No, seriously, it would be superhero nice.
If I had a cookie, I would give it to you Mr/Ms Superhero person.
Now we get to the fun stuff:
The Hunger Games (Film)
As I have not had the absolute pleasure of reading the trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins, I was slightly reluctant to see this film in the cinema. I had heard for a while that the book was fantastic and had my sights set on reading the book before I saw the film to achieve maximum entertainment levels, as I normally do…
…and as sometimes happens, I got too impatient and never did.
So I put on my cinema hat and journeyed to the cinema. As one does. Okay I lied, I don’t actually have a cinema hat, but if I did, it would probably look like this:
Hats aside, The Hunger Games was quite a nice surprise. From certain descriptions I had already heard, I ‘d gotten a sense of the Battle Royale film and was quietly hoping that it wasn’t a blow by blow account of something incredibly similar. But lo – I found the dystopian world that Suzanne Collins established to be quite good. We do get a good account of the social anxieties in this post-apocalyptic world through Katniss’ perspective of District 12 and the riots in District 11 juxtaposed with the Bourgeois lifestyle within The Capital.
I wasn’t too sure about Donald Sutherland in the role of authoritarian political leader. I had a strange kind of a ‘been there done that’ conversation with my brain about that issue. Anywho…
The Hunger Games, in concept is a very primitive process of human survival and sacrifice that can be likened to the tributes of Ancient Greek history. In the film, this ‘fight to the death’ is developed into a mainstream television show, a slice of futuristic reality TV where the winner gets the glory of having stayed alive. I didn’t realize there would be such an intricate focus on the ‘fame’ aspect for the very ‘animalistic’ tributes portrayed in the film and on the public response to the show. If these aspects weren’t harnessed as well as they were in the film, it probably would have strayed into a full on Battle Royale Tribute (Geddit? Tribute? Ahem…)
Now, to slide away ever so slightly from the positive features of the film, there was an itty bitty lag in the narrative/pacing of the film. This was mostly during the build up to before the actual Hunger Games event. I had somewhat anticipated this, I guess I’m really just writing about it because it was one of the few moments that I got in any way frustrated while watching the film. It’s my critiques like this that make me kick myself for not reading the book and knowing all. But that’s just my brain. I suppose, since I hadn’t read the book and really wanted to engage with the context before seeing the film, I really keyed into alot of the social and political context.
I was also a little suspicious of the panther/dog/ape genetically mutated animal thing. I just kinda laughed at that. SEE! I must read the book now.
The recommendation I’m going to give to you shiny people with regards to this film, is a pretty damn good one. It’s fun and engaging, makes up for most cheesy dialogue with sharp characters and a seriously charged plot drive.
Also, if you’re a 16 year old who is partial to a bit of sci-fi, you will definitely love this movie. Hell, if you’re 70 and that way inclined with your film choices you’ll enjoy this film.
On a final note, I have been hearing a repeated criticism a lot from certain ‘people’ regarding the use of ‘shaky camera’, and another one that likens the film to a certain vampire novel by one Stephanie Meyers.
Here is what I have to say to these people:
I really thought the film was a good example of a well done, exciting, teenage science fiction story. I am not ashamed to say that I really enjoyed it, and a lot of my invisible unicorn friends would agree with me… so there!
My defense shields have been up a lot lately.
Well readers, the sermon is over. Go in peace to not kill each other over opinions on films and books.
And have some cake while you’re at it. Bitches love cake.