In a short blurb? We talk books.
The Hunger Games is the first to come out in my 2012 list of most highly anticipated movies of the year.
It was a beautiful book to movie adaptation. The first book is driven by story and plot and it is executed perfectly in the movie.
Maybe it’s just me and my impossibly high expectations, but the movie wasn’t enough for me. Don’t get me wrong- the movie was fantastic. They included everything that they needed to. It stayed rather close to the book and gave the audience every bit they could without making the movie unbearably long. So… what is my problem? There’s no other way to say this but the word that immediately comes to mind is SHALLOW. Maybe I’m just an over-analytical gal but I wanted more. More character development, more symbolism, more focus on the reality show aspect, more blood and gore… I think if this was an adult movie, I would have been more satisfied– but alas, it’s an young adult book catering to the crossover audience.
With that in mind, I have to say that Gary Ross nailed it with his directing of The Hunger Games. I think that the film will convince non-readers to pick up the book and fans that have read it, re-read it. For example, I have already seen the film twice and am currently re-reading Mockingjay (Finished my re-read of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire before the movie). I have to praise Suzanne Collins again for delivering a series with such great concepts and, I’m hopeful to see Catching Fire in movie theaters November ’13. The next three movies will have the great story but will dig even deeper to the control of the Capitol and rebellion of the Districts and I think that will satisfy me. But all in all, The Hunger Games absolutely delivered in the limitations that they had. After all, it wouldn’t be another “phenomenon” if it didn’t appeal to all ages.
Now onward to the characters!
J Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth deserve my apologies. I was super skeptical when the casting was announced- but their performances as Katniss and Gale exceeded my expectations.
I enjoyed the easy banter they had in the woods when Gale was telling Katniss that they wouldn’t have a game if no one watched. Katniss was perfectly dismissive and it really showed the audience of Gale’s disgruntled feelings towards the Capitol. However, I cringed when they said goodbye- particularly “Don’t let them starve!”
The “romance” was downplayed so much in the film! I was excited to see the sham of a romance Peeta and Katniss were going to deliver to the Capitol and instead they gave Peeta cheesy ass lines to sputter in the cave that (in my opinion) was totally the wrong timing. But despite all that, I really enjoyed Josh Hutcherson’s protrayal because Peeta was completely likable and winning as the boy with the bread.
Two more things. #1, When Katniss pinned Peeta on the wall after his interview with Caesar. Absolutely loved the fire in her eyes. #2, I really think the ending would have been better if they included the conversation between the two when Katniss admitted that she put on a show for the Capitol.
Now Cinna is my personal favorite in the books, so Lenny Kravitz had some big shoes to fill. Sorry to say but it didn’t do it for me. During the scene above, I was wondering to myself… why is this so god damn sensual?! I saw Cinna as more of a… kick ass “role model” that was stylish, fierce, and wise.
Elizabeth Bank deserves a shout-out because her depiction of Effie was completely on point. I loved the stark contrast of her in District 12 and the bantering between her and Haymitch in the Capitol. Speaking of Haymitch… not what I imagined (meaner! drunker! more sweetheart talk!), but it worked in the film.
Last but not least… I absolutely ADORED Prim. Which is saying something because I connected way more with book Rue (Sorry film Rue, I just wasn’t invested in you enough). Willow Shields, my hat goes off to you. You stole every scene you were in and you made me cry.
Bottom line: It was a great book to film adaptation. Everything was on point- from acting to scenery to action. I cannot wait to see Catching Fire when it comes out. 8/10
Watching this trailer again makes me want to watch it for a third time.
What did you think?