Why The Hunger Games Left Me Feeling Empty

Towards the end of last month and to a great acclaim both critically and from the cinema going the film adaption of The Hunger Games was released. It was a book I read earlier this year – a book that I found suprised me and kept me gripped in a story that twisted everytime I thought I had a handle on where it was going so I was very excited to go and get to see the film, but if I’m honest I found the whole experience underwhelming.

I’m not sure if this is down to me already knowing what was going to happen both in the film and the complete series (I read the whole trilogy in about a week – the 2nd and 3rd books just got better and better), but it just felt like the film was missing that spark that made the books so special.

Don’t get me wrong – I think it was a very good adaptation and can see that they have obviously struggled to include some of the tougher scenes in the book – but at the same time toning these down to suit a 12A certificate seemed to cripple the film slighty – the shock and the impact of the book just wasnt there.

There were also fantastic little character moments, and just scene setters in the book that were skimmed over or just werent there – I know it’s harder to include things like this in a film, but at the same time they drew you into the characters by making them seem more real – and it’s disappointing to see some of the seeds set down in the first book that sprout into key points in the 2nd and 3rd books were missing or not given the time they needed (as presumably to the adapter they weren’t important).

It disappoints me to see some things that could’ve easily been included in the film missing too – once again character notes but ones that make the characters more (un-)likeable in the books and the little hints of what is to come.

In a way it seemed that the decision had been made to try and sell the film as a bit action teen romance – what the books at least superficially appear to be, but on reading the books and finding the hidden depths they plum – that seem to be glossed over in the film in the effort to bring another action scene which is too blurred to really see anything.

I’ve been saying this a lot and fear I’m starting to sound like a stick record but with The Hunger Games read the books and then if you must see the film – you’ll find it a more rewarding experience.


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