Does The Hunger Games movie Stand Up to the Book? In my opinion, the movie is much closer to its source material. Gary Ross and Billy Ray follows the Suzanne Collins’ original story very closely and won't leave The Hunger Games’ book lovers disappointed. However, it does drop some of the beloved minor scenes that give the novel, written from Katniss' standpoint, so much sympathy. Think her back stories and relationship building moments between her and other lead characters. The movie based deeply on visual scenes and not greatly on conversation but it works.
The movie, as the book does, centers on the future nation of Panem, consist of twelve districts. 24 of children are selected from each district from their poor families each year, and send them to the Capitol and trained them to kill one another. Only one person can stay alive in this haunting tale of government run and ferocious reality Television show, and that mission rests with Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) after she volunteers to obtain her younger sister's position.
The actors all did a wonderful job especially Jennifer Lawrence who delivered a charming performance as Katniss Everdeen. Josh Hutcherson who played as Peeta Mellark, Everdeen’s friend and potential love interest, his charm and his energy to the screen when they required and his chemistry with Jennifer was excellent as well. Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci did not let down fans of the book with their dead right interpretations.
The soundtrack composed by T-Bone Burnett and James Newton Howard featuring musicians such as Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire, The Decemberists and Miranda Lambert, was straight on as far as where Everdeen comes from, the background that would still preside in her district. What better fitting soundtrack could there be? It would sense all wrong with exaggerated pop and hip-hop. It wouldn't sense right to the tragedy that those in the other areas would feel seeing their relatives die. I am glad that they didn't go the pumped up music route.
One could argue the film goes against the whole thing Suzanne was trying to say about society and the not so great world where spectators could watch youngsters killed for sport. Viewers are watching these youngsters killed on screen, but Gary has been careful enough to remove graphic scenes and to down play the violent nature of the Games, unlike the book.
The Hunger Games is probably one of the best adaptations of science fiction I have seen lately. If you are a fan of the book series, you'll like this movie. It's certainly one worth watching.
The Hunger Games is slated for release on home video (DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download) on July 21, 2012.