Monday, March 26, 2012

Hunger Games Movie Review


To give a little background, I've read the entire Hunger Games trilogy and I adore it. I tend to be very loyal to my books and harsh on their movies. This one was no different: I had extremely high expectations. Because of the internal nature of the books, I was worried about how that would translate to film.

This movie exceeded all my expectations. It was BRILLIANT.

I had a few key scenes that I was desperate to see them get right and they nailed them. The Girl on Fire chariot scene was excellent and so was the interview. I was worried when I saw her interview dress in the previews (being that it looks very little like it's supposed to) but it was actually perfect. The scene with Katniss shooting the apple during her private session with the Gamemakers was spot on.

And then, there was Rue. Her death scene shattered my heart. I actually started sobbing when District Eleven gave tribute to Katniss while watching her on the screen. That was beautiful.

I was curious how they were going to solve the problem of Katniss's and Haymitch's interactions while she was in the arena since they all went on inside her head. The notes in the gifts was a great solution.

There were a few additions added specifically for the movie that I liked. I enjoyed the scenes in the control room and the commentary, especially the method of explaining that the wasps were trackerjackers. The control room looked really cool and it added another element to the movie. An unrelated addition that I really liked was Seneca Crane walking into the room with the nightlock berries.

Now, as always, there were a few details that were left out or changed that bothered me. The biggest thing was the lack of discussion on Peeta and Katniss's relationship. They don't get into an arguments over whether it's real or an act, and that bothers me.

The second biggest thing is the fact that Peeta doesn't lose his leg at the end. This bothers me because it means they left out a major emotional scene for Katniss.

I really like Haymitch's character, but he seems different from his book counterpart. He's not quite as drunk for one thing at the beginning because he doesn't have to promise to sober up. He's not even AT the reaping. The part where Katniss almost stabs a knife into his hand was fantastic, though.

The dogs were okay, but they could have been more humanlike. They were supposed to be dog reincarnations of each of the dead tributes. It's so dark that you can't even tell that they have the tributes eyes and I don't even think they have collars, let alone district numbers on those collars. They also don't walk on their hind legs. I pictured them being more like Harry Potter's werewolves.

Overall, it's a great movie and followed the books shockingly well. The movie is somewhat less dark than the book was. You don't have to read the books to understand the movie (I don't think) but I do think that reading the books gives the movie an extra layer of meaning. I highly recommend seeing it. I already want to see it again!


Dan O. said...

The film doesn't really get going until they actually do get to The Hunger Games, but when it does get started up its entertaining, tense, unpredictable, and very well executed from Gary Ross. I also couldn’t believe that this was his 3rd film after other flicks such as Seabiscuit and Pleasantville, which are both good but are different from this one. Still though, great jobs from everybody involved and I cannot wait for the sequel. Good review Rachael.