My Review of The Hunger Games Movie
March 26, 2012 § 2 Comments
So I was semiexcited when I heard they were making the movies. I will admit to being a bit snobby about it though.
Actually my response was ‘how are they going to pull it off? It’s written in 1st person!’ And it’s true. As soon as Katniss volunteers for the games, it’s all about mind games.
But I got over it, apparently, because as it got closer to the release, a funny thing started to happen. I started to lose my CRAP, managing to hold it together enough to miss the midnight showing. (HELLO, I have small children) But only until 9:30 am the next morning. My husband was also excited, so it must be good marketing too. He had no idea what it was even about and was like “let’s go!” So you get it. There was some little-girl-giddiness and high expectations. And it didn’t disappoint.
First off, I think the movie did a lot of things right… but not everything. This is inevitable when you make a book into a movie. It can’t ever be THE BOOK. I thought everything leading up to the games was flawless, though. Especially the characters. My initial criticism of Katniss was that in the book she’s supposed to be scrawny- physically speaking, but I quickly shut myself up because I liked the idea of her being a healthy-looking girl. And Jennifer Lawrence did a marvelous job capturing her spirit. Obviously Katniss was my fave, but Rue, Peeta, and Haymitch were also played very well.
Something that I was able to do, seeing the movie with my ignorant husband (well, ignorant over The Hunger Games) was see if he “got” stuff. I even quizzed him after the movie (because I’m ridiculous) to see if he realized what was going on in some scenes. He did okay.
The actual games were tricky. One thing I didn’t like was seeing all the behind-the-scenes details of the game-keepers. Part of what made the games creepy in the books was not “seeing” the puppetteers. For me, seeing people in a control room with the futuristic gadgetry just made it like a “wizard behind the curtain” effect: not as sinister or scary as just imagining it. This is an example of showing too much. Apparently the director didn’t agree with me. (Shocking!)
But let’s put visual/ superficial things aside- I think they did get the book’s message across. I was sad not to see the dandelion moment. (!) Even though you feel terrible “rooting” for a winner, you can’t help but do it. Someone tweeted about the irony of us sitting and watching The Hunger Games movie like the people in the Capitol… I felt that way a bit. But, in the end I think that the Peeta-Katniss complexity was lost along the way.
And that- the problem between Peeta and Katniss- was due to losing her inner dialogue, I think. There’s really no way to achieve the same thing without it being too sappy. I wondered if there would be any voice-over, but that’s SUPER cheesy. What else? Talk to herself? Scroll her thoughts along the bottom of the screen? I DON’T KNOW.
Overall, I thought the movie was excellent. A worthy interpretation! However, I’m expecting a call from the director to consult me on the next one. I think I have some good ideas. (NOT.) If you haven’t read the books, what are you waiting for? My husband keeps asking me about the next books and I’m keeping my lips sealed. I hope it inspires many new readers (including him).