As far as book to film adaptations go, I always get pissed off when people say “It’s not as good as the book.” The two mediums are so different in their power to affect readers/viewers that it will always be impossible for a film to be better than a book (if the film is staying true to the book). Films just don’t have the luxury of time and wordy descriptions as books do. But that doesn’t mean that a film adaptation cannot be good. With that in mind, this particular film adaptation shows other filmmakers how it is done.
The book is outstandingly good. It was recommended to me by a friend and once I read it, I devoured the other two in less than 48 hours (the entirely trilogy will be talked about as part of my Bookshelf Mission at some stage). The movie is also excellent (bar some dodgy CGI towards the end).
Jennifer Lawrence embodied the character of Katniss Everdeen to an absolute tee. Some other characters were shown differently to how they are in the book, at least how they looked in my imagination, but it didn’t take away from the momentum of the film. For example, I saw Haymitch as more disgusting and abrupt but Woody Harrelson’s version of Haymitch, although softer round the edges, was also powerful (when does he ever go wrong?!). I would never have cast Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and yet, I was completely pulling for him (and a little in love with him) by the end. It did go wrong a little bit with others. Cinna, for example, is a much more important cog in the book than he is in the film but that doesn’t take away from Lenny Kravtiz’s attempt at the character. I just hope he gets more screen time in the sequels.
For its intended young adult audience, and for people for all ages who don’t know the book, this is a strong, engaging adventure story that leaves you wanting more. I recommend it!