“Hungry Games” Review

That’s right, though I have yet to see Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games,” I did get a chance this weekend to see Lionsgate’s expertly dubbed “Голодные Игры” (which translates back into English as “Hungry Games”).

Russian Hunger Games movie poster

Movie poster outside of the theater where I saw "The Hunger Games"

As an early fan (June 2009) of the “Hunger Games” YA series, I was excited and nervous about the film adaptation of the first book, and have carefully followed the casting, early on-set pictures, news and reviews. When I learned I would be moving to Russia, I realized I would be seeing the movie here, in Russian. Because I have a very stubborn tendency toward word order when translating, I guessed that I would be seeing “Голодные Игры,” though my mom pointed out this would mean “Hungry Games,” and she figured it would be more accurately translated as “Игры голода” or, “Games of Hunger.” I agree with my mom, that this would be a better translation, but alas, Russia has instead been introduced to the “Hungry Games.”

And I have to say, I think the “Hungry Games” are pretty popular here. There was a midnight showing of the movie in the city, and a good-sized crowd at the Friday early evening showing I went to. Though the books aren’t outrageously popular here, the audience seemed to really follow the story and get invested in the characters. And I only heard one person answer his phone and have a conversation… which indicates impressive restraint and attention in this country.

Me at the Hunger Games in Russia

Wearing a braid and my mockingjay pin in subtle support for the film.

I greatly enjoyed the movie. I look forward to watching it in English, so I can fully experience the actors’ performances, but seeing it in Russian may have helped me appreciate some of the other aspects (cinematography, editing, effects, sound) even more. Here are my main thoughts on the film:

  • Though I still imagine Vladimir Putin as President Snow, I think all the casting worked out pretty well.
  • Katniss doesn’t make any noise when moving around in the woods; come on, sound guys…
  • The establishing shots of District 12 remind me of the “Friday Night Lights” pilot.
  • I love all the scenes in the Gamemaking Control room (or whatever it’s called).
  • I’m not as impressed by Cinna’s costumes (or rather, the flame effects) as I wanted to be… I still think my Katniss costume  (for book 2) was pretty awesome…
  • All the Rue stuff (who was called “Ruette” in Russian) was perfect.
  • Dear Russian translators: why did you need to change Peeta’s name to Pete?
  • Also, why can’t you say “girl on fire” in Russian? Why is it “fiery Katniss”?
  • I can’t wait for DVD extras and the next movie!

About stenicopla

russia! photography! exploring! SCUBA! ice water swimming! vegetarianism! vladivostok!
This entry was posted in films, leisure, russia. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Hungry Games” Review

  1. Mike says:

    Great review and pictures. I agree completely about Rue, but would have been happy if they would have included even more of her.

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