Review: ‘Hunger Games’ leaves student wanting more

20, 19, 18, 17, 16 … the tributes step on their platforms in order for the hunger games to begin. A much-anticipated movie based off the best-selling book, “The Hunger Games” delivers plenty of action for the viewer. The story is based in a dystopian future in a country named Panem, the former United States of America. Each year, the government sponsors a pageant of sorts where a young boy and girl from each of the 12 districts enters the arena in a fight to the death.

In transferring a novel to the big screen, it’s inevitable that some parts of the story will be left out or changed. There were a few things I expected to see in the movie and didn’t, but it didn’t really affect the story in a negative way. This may have to do with the fact that the author of the book, Suzanne Collins, co-wrote the script. As a fan of the books, my complaints about the adaptation really are very small.

I was impressed with how spot-on the characters were; they were exactly how I had imagined them. The actors all did a good job of staying true to the characters in the book and bringing them to life. When I read the book, I pictured Haymitch as Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit,” but Woody Harrelson turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how wonderful Stanley Tucci was as Caesar Flickerman—just fantastic.

The Capitol in the movie had fewer luxuries than the one in the book, lacking the buttons that deliver food from the wall, and much of the architecture was dull and gray. While the movie features Avoxes, criminals against the Capitol whose tongues have been removed and have been turned into servants, it’s never made clear who they are. In the book, Katniss recognizes an Avox in her Capitol apartment as someone she saw trying to escape through the woods. This enforced the ominous presence of the Capitol in the book, but this interaction didn’t occur in the movie.

The movie is nearly two and a half hours long and yet seems to move pretty quickly. There’s a lot that happens in the story, and the filmmakers got most of it in there, even if it was rushed. With that being said, I was happy throughout the movie until the ending. It seemed to happen so quickly, and the movie chopped out some important elements. After the games, the book makes it clear that Katniss isn’t safe, and that the Capitol is watching her and her district, but that ominous sense seems to fade away at the end of the movie. There’s a sequel to the book, and the movie didn’t really set up the ending to have that feeling of continuity like I expected.