SO WE FINALLY SAW THE HUNGER GAMES, GUYS. Just like everyone else in America did this weekend. And it was AWESOME.While there has been some grumbling on the internet about the movie’s length, we didn’t feel that it was too long! There is a lot to fit in there, and we felt that the movie did a very good job with the delicate task of making a book into a movie. We’ll break it down into best parts and the parts that could have been improved… and we promise, this is our last post on The Hunger Games
for a while.
1.) The Game Maker’s Score: Jennifer Lawrence was hilarious in this moment! While all the judges were ignoring her, Katniss just decided to do what she wanted! It was great! And, additionally, when Effie was lecturing her about manners right afterwards, we definitely cracked up. This was one of the moments we were anticipating, and it did not let us down!
2.) Effie: She was so great. She is a difficult part to play because you are supposed to be repulsed by her shallow, superficial and callous attitude towards the tributes, and yet she is also supposed to be endearing in a strange way. Elizabeth Banks was hysterical and we enjoyed all of her scenes, yet she still managed to be repugnant, in a comical kind of way.
3.) Casting: In general, this cast was spot-on. Jennifer Lawrence did a magnificent job at portraying Katniss’s emotions without having to have an awkward voiceover (ahem, Twilight). Josh Hutcherson as Peeta was great as well–we could go on and on about each individual cast member. A couple of standouts were Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman and Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane, who did a great job at portraying the disconnection between the Capitol and the other citizens while still keeping their characters human.
4.) Rue’s Death: Guys, we cried. Like hardcore. They just chose the most adorable actress ever to play Rue, and her death was really, really hard to watch. Jennifer Lawrence’s emotional breakdown, flower arrangement, and salute to District 11 was seriously the sweetest and saddest part of the movie. It was one of those moments in the book and in the movie that reminds us that things aimed at teenagers can cover some seriously emotional material and have it be extremely moving and touching. We are maybe tearing up now just thinking about this moment.
Room for Improvement:
1.) Katniss and Peeta’s entrance: The costumes here are supposed to be so magnificent and eye-catching that Katniss becomes permanently known as “the Girl on Fire.” While the costumes were great, the scene was structured in such an odd way! Basically we watched all of the tributes come in and then go out again, without much focus being put on how great Katniss and Peeta looked. Disappointing.
2.) Camera Work for the First 20 Minutes: Okay guys, when the movie started, there was a lot of shaky camera work going on. Hunting in the forest, buying the Mockingjay pin, walking around depressing District 12, the camera seemed to follow everywhere Jennifer Lawrence looked (lots of unnecessary close ups…). It made us a little seasick and we were worried that the whole movie was going to be like this. However, we either got used to it, or they found a sturdier camera, because the rest of the movie was easier to watch.
3.) Cutting the Mutts: In the book, those dogs at the end are more like a wolf pack, and they have the eyes of the dead tributes. It is one of the most disturbing things that happens in the entire series, and one of the moments that best illustrates the ends the Capitol will go to in order to ensure compliance. In the movie there were just some giant dogs trying to kill them… We can understand why they made the change, but it was one of the most original moments of the book and the one that made you fully understand the horror of the Capitol. They should have kept it in.
4.) Cinna: Don’t get us wrong, Lenny Kravitz was a fine choice to play Cinna. But in the book, Cinna is maybe the most interesting character–there is always the sense that there’s more going on under the surface than what we’re seeing. He has a much stronger connection with Katniss in the books, and becomes a person that she trusts more than anyone else in the Capitol. It would’ve been nice to show that Katniss was capable of forming that sort of bond.
Overall though, The Hunger Games was a great adaptation of a huge amount of source material. The filmmakers crammed in as much as they possibly could, and made a movie that was pretty good along the way! Impressive indeed. More than anything, we are super excited to see a heroine like Katniss kicking ass, taking names, and earning tons of box office dollars. Go see it and understand what literally everyone else is talking about!