I first picked up The Hunger Games on Christmas day, when I downloaded it on my Kindle Fire. I finished the book a mere eight hours later-- and needless to say, I've been hooked on the series ever since. Finding out The Hunger Games movie was to be released in March was just icing on the cake. Like many of you, I've been counting down the days until The Hunger Games premiered in theaters.
Of course, I rushed out to see it on opening day! Here are my thoughts on The Hunger Games:
Consider this a Spoiler Alert.
What I Disliked About The Hunger Games:
- Maybe I'm just getting old (I did just turn 30!), but the shaky, choppy, way-to0-fast editing drove me crazy from the very beginning of the film. I get that they are condensing a book into 2 hours and 20 minutes, but visually, my eyes couldn't keep up with what was going on and what I was actually seeing. I enjoyed every one of the wide shots, but they were few and far between. For me, the editing took away from the movie. In a big way.
- Poor Gale. I realize this is only the first of four movies for The Hunger Games series, but I felt no connection to Gale in the movie. He was on screen for maybe three minutes and then quick glances of him watching the games from district 12. I just felt his character wasn't developed enough in this movie to lead into the next.
- When watching the actual Hunger Games in the movie, it didn't quite feel like enough. The games in my head were vastly different than what was going on screen. On screen, it just felt too easy for Katniss. The hardcore survival element just wasn't there. Not that I expected a bloodbath for a PG-13 movie, but the violence didn't even feel like enough-- or perhaps I am so immune to viewing movies with blood and death (how awful does that sound?) that the scenes in The Hunger Games felt too diluted. I even left feeling that my eight-year-old could've handled what I saw on screen-- though she won't be seeing it anytime soon.
- Katniss seems too willing to accept the "star-crossed lovers" concept with Peeta, even after he seemingly betrays her during the games. Once the game change has been announced she goes off to find him and the alliance she witnessed with the other players is never mentioned. There is no inner struggle with Katniss and her feelings for Peeta, or even with Gale back home.
What I Liked About The Hunger Games:
- For the most part, the movie stayed true to the book.
- The casting was excellent, especially for the roles of Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Hymitch (Woody Harrelson). I also enjoyed the performances by Lenny Kravitz (Cinna), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Wes Bentley (Seneca Crane) and Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman). I don't think the movie could of had a better cast.
- Before seeing the movie, I heard that the character of Madge was removed and Katniss' sister, Prim, gave her the Mockingjay pin as her token. I was skeptical on how this would come together, but the change totally worked.
- I loved the scenes with the Gamemakers-- everything made sense and it was cool to see what went on behind the the games.
- The scenes with Rue were done well. And yes, I cried a little as Katniss collected and laid the flowers on her body.
- Seneca Crane and the bowl of berries. Exactly what you would expect from the twisted mind of President Snow.
I'm sure that I could nitpick the movie all day because I loved the book so much-- and that is why books are always better than movies! Overall, I was satisfied with The Hunger Games and I'm going to see it again in theaters with my husband once he finishes the book. Even with some of the flaws, it kept me wanting more and I'm already anticipating the November 2013 release of Catching Fire-- I'm just hoping the editing is a lot smoother in number 2.
If you haven't read The Hunger Games, I would encourage you to do so before seeing the movie ... it's really a great read!
So, what did you think of The Hunger Games? Likes? Dislikes?