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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Why The Hunger Games Movie Worked

So I finally got around to seeing the Hunger Games. I'd heard so many good things and so many bad things about the movie it kind of slipped to the bottom of my to-do pile.

Now that it's on Netflix here in Canada I had no excuse.

I really liked the movie. It was dark without being depressing. In fact, it has everything I could ever hope for in a movie.

As I watched it, my prevailing thought was "How is this YA?" When did YA become so brutal sci-fi? Is it just because the main character is young? The subject matter is just as dark as 1984; actually, probably more so. The only difference was they toned down sex talk and offered a little bit of hope. Like Donald Sutherland's character (President Snow) says hope is a powerful thing.

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence)
Katniss (played by the amazing Jennifer Lawrence) is a great hero-figure. She is strong but never ruthless. Confident but never arrogant. And she fights for the underdog. On top of that, bows are pretty flippin' cool.

Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson)
Peeta (played by Josh Hutcherson) is completely dreamy. I'm sure teenage girls everywhere pined for him. He's strong without realizing how strong he is: this is another trait we need to see in our heroes. Nice to see the princess rescuing the prince for one too.

So what did I learn as a writer:
No matter how much action you throw into a story, what will stay with the audience is the characters. Make them love your characters and the story will be a success.

Nothing makes you route for a character more than adversity and failure followed by success and hope.


  1. Another thing I personally liked about the Hunger Games movie was how well the emotions were portrayed. I cared about the characters. I felt the sorrow, the hope, and the joy. (And don't even get me started about Rue's death.)

    I think emotions play a large part with books and movies. Readers/Viewers want to be able to connect with the characters.

    Great post!

    1. Agreed. All the actors did an amazing job. I felt like smashing something too when she placed the flowers around Rue.

      Thanks for the compliment.

  2. Did you read the book series?? Although the movie was a fantastic representation of the book, I thought that the emotion and content was done as well as could be expected for a short film adaptation. I loved the novel and I highly recommend reading the entire series as it will bring a lot more to the already amazing character development.

    1. The have the book series and it is definitely on my "to read" list. Unfortunately I have so many things going on with my own writing and now this writer's guild I'm starting that have very little time for reading. I tend to read a bunch of indie writers now. They probably need my money more than Suzanne Collins does.

      Still, everyone I know who's read it fell in love with it.


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