First things first, the following is just my honest opinion, so I hope The Hunger Games’ fans take this constructively.
Last Wednesday, I finally got the chance to see the film adaptation of the series which is considered to be the next big thing after Harry Potter —- The Hunger Games. Needless to say, I’ve also watched all 8 Potter films; hence, this comparison. And since I’m dealing with two huge series here, I will simplify and splice up this review of sorts into 3 essential parts.
1. THE CRAZE
It cannot be denied that not so long ago, a young wizard with a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead created the greatest stir in publishing history. Hollywood took notice and soon enough, it cashed in on the series and turned Harry Potter into the most lucrative movie franchise in history. The adaptations, with their share of good to fair and bad reviews, raked in the galleons for both the movie studios and J.K. Rowling’s big magical purse. The cinematic magic went on for a decade.
While Potter was still working his charm among muggles, Suzzane Collins quietly created a young adult genre of her own, without all that magic and sorcery. Hers was more of a modern tale of the this generation’s youth and how they try to survive in a cruel and power-hungry world. And like Potter, it made its way into the bestsellers’ list and went on to be a unique alternative to Potter-weary readers. Of course, the movie deal wasn’t far behind and just this March, fans were given a front row seat to witness the games in live action.
Potter’s figures were simply better than the Games’, both in book sales and box office earnings. This holds true even if we only talk about the first movie or the first three books.
2. THE STORY
HP is all about an orphaned boy who was summoned to study magic at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and become the great wizard he was destined to be. It’s a very long, 7 book saga which followed Harry through countless adventures. It’s quite difficult to make a series this long, especially when it involves a multitude of characters and events. But through the complexity of it, J.K. Rowling’s rare magical genius pulled it through and ended the series with a bang!
HG is all about young men and women who represent the 12 Districts of Panem as tributes to an annual event known as The Hunger Games. The tributes are selected every year through a reaping and soon they are brought to the Capitol to be trained and prepared for the actual games. It’s a battle to the death; Of the 24 tributes, only 1 will survive and be declared the victor. But for the 74th edition, the rules have changed and the 2 tributes from District 12, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark were both declared winners. From this rule-breaking, more deadly and action-packed duels ensued in the sequels.
Considering that Potter is 4 books longer than the Games, it has the more complex story, which is laid layer after layer in each book. In fact, the plot of the Hunger Games seemed to be just patterned after a pivotal chapter in one Harry Potter book, The Goblet of Fire. And for me, the TriWizard Tournament still has the better tricks and smarter ways of how to play a game.
3. THE CHARACTERS
They’re solid, real and 3 dimensional. Rowling had created them with unique histories and characteristics that you’d actually think she knew them personally. It’s as if they were allegorically drawn from real people in the real world. Enough said.
Also has believable characters but my problem is that not all of them are. There are some people I find flat, forgettable and don’t really serve the purpose of secondary characters much. Take Cato for example: He was packaged as a dangerous contender, highly-skilled and a force to be reckoned with. What happened in the movie? He didn’t look much the part and actually appeared somewhat lame at the fight scene between him and Katniss and Peeta on top of the Cornucopia. Good thing the beasts had eaten him up.
Still, it’s HP.
But then again, I love both series and I’m glad something like The Hunger Games came along to quench the thirst of bookies and movie fans alike looking for things to take Potter’s place. It’s a big shoe to fill but still, I must say that’s a pretty good job you did there, HG!
Peace out! :)