The Hunger Games : The Movie

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I am starting this post by saying, the point of my blog isn't really to review movies. However, I did review this book previously, and I mentioned that  I was going to see the movie. So I figured this would be a good follow up.

Again, I read the book (actually all three) before I saw the movie - in fact I read the books before the movie was being advertised. So that played a large part in my opinion about the movie. Please keep that in mind as you read my review.

Like the post about The Hunger Games book, I will try to be vague, but it is incredibly difficult for me to discuss my opinion of the movie without spoiling some of the secrets. So if you don't want to hear any spoilers do not read this until you go see the movie.

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I should add that when I saw who was cast to play Katniss, Peeta and Cinna (and not because he's black, which I know has been a hot button topic for many, just because I couldn't picture it), I was a little, very concerned. In my mind these characters were real, and the actors chosen just did not match up with my mental picture. I mean Jennifer Lawrence wasn't bad on The Bill Engvall Show, but she wasn't the strong-willed, independent Katniss Everdeen by any means. And who in the world was Josh Hutcherson? Did anyone else wonder about the casting? After seeing the movie, Lawrence succeeded at playing Katniss, however, I am still unsure about Hutcherson's ability to play Peeta, especially the Peeta from Mockingjay.

Alright, so now onto the actual movie:

It was a great movie. There was so much in it that directly lined up with the story of the book.

I loved seeing the settings come to life- like the Capitol and the Arena. The costume designers of the people of the Capitol did great. They truly brought to life the "over-the-top" lifestyle of those people.

I also loved seeing how the Reaping was done as this was not detailed as clearly in the book - the signing in process. Plus I give credit to every single one of the extras in that scene, those kids looked truly terrified (as they should right?). Plus the expressions of the parents, true worry, grief, pain - well done.
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However there were some things I didn't like about the movie, mostly because I'm a purest about my books. There are two specific parts that I felt were left out of the movie, which will make the sequels less like the books. (Here come some spoilers...) 

The night before the Games begin, Peeta and Katniss have their late night discussion about the games (important part of the book) but Peeta isn't tossing anything over the edge of the roof (extremely important for the plot in Catching Fire). I mean it could have easily been included while they were talking, just having him tossing anything over the edge. The idea that suicide was on the minds of these Tributes, and that the Capitol had made sure they couldn't even do that, is huge for the book.

Also Katniss's prep team - Where were they? Sure we get to see some of Cinna (by the way props to Lenny Kravitz for a great portrayal of Cinna) but the rest of the team? I believe one of them (not sure which) has one line throughout the entire movie. I think this was a horrible part of the story to leave out. Here is the example of what the people of the Capitol are, and Katniss wants to hate them as much as she hates the Capitol itself. Yet she finds herself liking them, right? I feel it was an important point Collins made with the book: That it is human for people to hate the system, but not the actual people, especially once you allow yourself to get to know each person as an individual. That issue of humanity and passion even within such a god-less society of injustice was so important in the books, at least to me.
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Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed seeing The Hunger Games movie. It was filled with emotion, and really brought the book to life. I recommend it to both those who love the books, and those who haven't read a single page (although you guys aren't reading this post still right?).

Did you see the movie? What did you think was done well? What do you think was missing?

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3 comments

  1. I actually haven't read this yet; but am feeling the pressure from everyone! :) Thanks for the preview! Thank you for linking up at Saturday Show & Tell, hope to see you back next week! :)
    Mackenzie

    http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com

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  2. Good point about the absence of the rest of the prep team... I did feel as though some aspects of Katniss's complex emotional turmoil were definitely missing.

    The thing that definitely bothered me the most was the lack of complexity regarding Katniss and Peeta's relationship. In the book, there is so much focus on Katniss's confusion and even repulsion from Peeta's affection. In the movie, however, she seems to fall in love (or at least "like") with him right away. While it works OK for the movie, I'm afraid it will take away much of the emotional power in the later books, when she actually DOES fall in love with him. It's like, the movie just flattened that part of the story.

    But, overall, I liked it! haha... definitely better than I thought it would be... just not as good as it should have been.

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  3. I always think the books are better than a movie. I guess if they put everything in the movie that is in the book it would be one long movie. I don't have to read this book because my massage therapist told me the whole plot during one of my sessions. Ha!

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