The Hunger Games hype

by Khushboo on March 26, 2012

While most of the world was eagerly anticipating the release of the first movie of The Hunger Games series, I was bummed out that this was the only English movie which came to the cinema in India this week.  Up until Friday, all I knew about the book is that it fell into the ‘science-fiction’ genre…and hence would never make my reading list.  Before you roll your eyes that I hadn’t even attempted to try reading it, I should probably add that I’ve never seen Titanic…or Sound of Music…or read any of the Harry Potter books (the first movie killed it for me)- apparently I don’t go for the big-name movies/novels ;) .  But back to The Hunger Games: a couple of my friends were going on Friday night and it was either that or sit at home…I chose the former!

With no idea what I was in for, I spent some time on Friday afternoon reading up about The Hunger Games online.  For the minority of you who haven’t read the series, here’s a synopsis…promise no spoilers:

The story is based in the future, in a post-apocalyptic version of the US.  The country Panem is divided into the Capitol and 13 districts.  Seventy-four years ago, the districts staged a rebellion against the Capitol, and resultantly District 13 was wiped out.  To punish the remaining districts of Panem, the Capitol nationally televises Hunger Games.  The annual Hunger Games are a no-holds barred fight to the finish among 24 adolescents, representing the 12 districts for the amusement of a television audience (the remaining residents of Panem).   In other words, Hunger Games takes reality TV to another (albeit morbid) level.  Ultimately, 23 of the participants die and only 1 walks away victorious. 

At first hearing that the book was being made into a movie, I assumed that the movie would be another over-hyped, over-glorified teen novel adaptation.  How wrong was I!  As someone who has not read the book, I thought the movie was amazing, captivating, and completely unpredictable.  Despite being 142 minutes long, not once did I look at the time- in fact I was shocked when the intermission came on (cinemas in India always pause the movie halfway through for refreshment breaks). If you too haven’t read it, the good news is that the movie does a great job at world building and character development, and the plot is easy to pick up on.  I was quite surprised at some of the brutality and blood baths which the movie showed, but they’re what intensified the movie all the more.

I am glad that I did not read the novel right before the movie (or ever for that matter).  I went into the cinema with no expectations and unable to nit-pick whether small details were changed/left out.  My friends who I watched it with had both read the book and wished some parts of the book were included or covered more in depth.  At the same time, they agreed it was a fantastic adaptation, especially given the impossibility to capture so much detail in such a limited amount time.  I am itching to read the trilogy now, and am looking forward to the next movie!

Will the movie be as big as the book? The “odds” are definitely in its favor ;) !

Have you read/seen The Hunger Games? Thoughts?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra March 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I read the books and really enjoyed the series, not my all time favorite but still pretty good trilogy :) I haven’t gotten to see the movie yet, but you’re making me want to go pronto! Great review!!

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Khushboo Thadani March 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Thanks, Alexandra..I’m really surprised at how much I enjoyed it!

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Parita March 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Glad you liked the movie!! I’ve read all 3 books and am so excited to go see the movie in a couple of weeks (Vishnu and I promised that we’d go together). :) It’s always a great thing when the hype meets the actual product, which is so rare for so many books turned movies.

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Khushboo Thadani March 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I started the book on Sunday and am just about finishing it- can’t wait to read the 2nd and 3rd of the trilogy. So true about books and movies..another movie which I think did somewhat justice to the book was The Help!

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Brittany March 27, 2012 at 12:13 am

I finished the first book a few days ago and loved every single chapter. It was amazing, one of the best books I have read in a long time!! I haven’t seen the movie yet because of my schedule, but I plan to see it this week! I am so excited!

I don’t know how many times I squirm in my seat having to pee during a movie, but refuse to leave because I don’t want to miss anything. Those intermissions would be nice!

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Khushboo Thadani March 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Haha I get pretty antsy too and enjoy the breaks- even better that you have vendors walking around what you want to order and then they serve it to you during the movie!

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forgottenbeast March 27, 2012 at 1:17 am

I read the book–and I definitely want to see the movie, but haven’t yet. Good to hear a review from someone who hadn’t read it, as I’ve only been talking to other people who read the book first. I’m going to wait for some of the hype/crowds to die down, but I’ll be in the theater before too long.

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Khushboo Thadani March 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm

This reminds me of an image I saw online…it was something like “May you not get slaughtered by teenage kids while fighting for a good seat at The Hunger Games” :)

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forgottenbeast March 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Haha, that sounds just about accurate!

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kamalkitchen March 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

I saw the previews before buying a ticket and decided to give it a wide berth..maybe a great thriller, but any movie that shows kids killing kids is not to my taste!

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Khushboo Thadani March 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I think the amount of blood/violence shown in the movie met my maximum threshold- don’t think I could have handled anything more!

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Honey What's Cooking March 28, 2012 at 7:52 am

I haven’t read or seen this movie, but for some reason it is huge here. On the radio they were saying many people didn’t understand it. I guess it’s the next twilight , but who knows.

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Khushboo Thadani March 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Because people kept referring to it as the “next Twilight”, I was so apprehensive about it- not a fan of Twilight at all!

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Jamie Walker March 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

OMG, we could be the same person! I didn’t get caught up in Twilight or Harry Potter or any of that kind of stuff. I usually can’t stand it. But…everyone kept telling me to read Hunger Games and finally I did. And I LOVED it. Freaking loved every minute of it so I’m glad you did too!

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Khushboo Thadani March 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I am so glad you agree with my views about Twilight & Harry Potter- I normally get shocked faces!

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Sarah March 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Never read the book, but everyone’s talking about it here at the moment! I love sci-fi so really should give it a go.

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Kiran March 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

I am with you — never read books before movie. Don’t like the set of expectations that comes with it. That being said (with all the hype!), I can’t wait to watch THG!!

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