From page to screen: ‘Hunger Games’ film brings book to life

Annie Yoskoski, Staff Writer

When the announcement of the “Hunger Games” movie adaptation was made, I was wary. “Oh, great,” I thought, “Another amazing book that the movie will ruin.”

Well, I was wrong. “The Hunger Games” is an amazing movie, capturing the essence of the book without sacrificing the art of film.

Reading the book, the characters are well-described. The film adaptation nailed down those descriptions and picked a perfect cast consisting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hensworth as Gale. Jennifer Lawrence is best known for her Oscar-nominated role in 2010’s “Winter’s Bone.”

The story features a concept disturbing to some people. Two teenagers from each of 12 districts are chosen to compete in a fight to the death on national television. Needless to say, there is a lot of action. The action scenes in the arena, where the games take place, were fast and precise.

Seeing the images on the screen was almost paralyzing in their uncanny likeness to what readers had previously pictured.  The violence and brutality of the book is still in the movie, but, due to the PG-13 rating, it is faster and less drawn-out.

What amazed me the most was the actors’ ability to keep the different plots and sub-plots of the movie as important as the special effects and theatrics. In addition to the titular games, there is a romance, a look at the home lives of those in the impoverished districts, the decadent reality of the Capitol, and the entire idea of a dystopian America. The bittersweet romance scenes between Peeta and Katniss in the cave of the arena are just as important as the deaths of the games’ contestants.

Due to the craziness of the Capitol as it was depicted on the page, I wasn’t sure that everything would turn out well on the big screen. But, once again I was pleasantly surprised as every wonderful, strange hair color and skin tint turned out vivid and striking, leaving the impression that the viewer was supposed to come away with a realization of how extreme this world is.  Lenny Kravitz makes a perfect Cinna, and takes the outrageous character to new levels.

Few scenes from the book were left out of the movie. The only thing that readers may miss is the character of Madge, the source of the Mockingjay pin which holds so much symbolic significance in the story. Other than that, every other detail fits neatly into place, interlocking the story and reality in this wonderful film adaptation.

5 stars out of 5