The Hunger Games
Everyone knows about this movie. Almost everyone has read the books, and everyone who has LOVES THEM! We’re invested in them. The movie is still in theaters. If you’re waiting for the dvd, there is no official release date, but it’s expected to be in August. And you know the Boyd Co. Public Library will have several copies on pre-order. This review is spoiler heavy, so read at your own risk.
First things first, what matters most is whether or not this story can be trusted in the abilities of Jennifer Lawrence. Because this movie hinges on her.
YES. SO SO MUCH. YES.
She IS Katniss. She is extraordinary. She makes up for the parts in the book that they couldn’t translate to film or was left out completely.
The world they’ve recreated from the visionary mind of Suzanne Collins is perfect. District 12 is perfect. The house Katniss shares with her mother and Prim is exactly how I imagined it. I felt just as profoundly unsettled about the Reaping as I did when reading the book, and watching it in full scale was amazing.
There is a triangular love story here, but it is not the focus. This is a story of survival and uprising. So glad they didn’t push a love story angle. Gale is her best friend and hunting partner (and an absolute stud). You can see hints of jealousy as he watches Katniss and Peeta in the arena, as mandated by the Capitol. Peeta admits his feelings for Katniss in a pre-games interview with Caesar Flickerman. Caesar Flickerman is played by Stanley Tucci. I love him as Caesar. SO MUCH! Katniss plays along as Peeta’s star-crossed-lover to get sponsors. It’s about survival for her. Maybe not for him.
Book purists will notice how they’ve tweaked Haymitch’s character. This Haymitch is less drunk and more active behind the scenes. Because it is a movie, we can’t get to know Haymitch’s motivations through Katniss’s thoughts. A voiceover wouldn’t cut it. A visual then becomes necessary. Haymitch at work is something new where the movie departs subtly from the book. This worked for me, totally.
The visual effects were pretty awesome, but I’m a snob and think they could have been better. I did enjoy seeing Katniss as the girl on fire. I promise you’ll enjoy it too. Overall it was a good movie. Really good. I think the violence was toned down, probably due to the targeted audience. You still feel the gravity of each district forced to send their children into an arena to kill each other as a reminder of the Capitol’s stronghold. My main complaint would be that they opened up a lot to non-readers, but some very significant things they assumed to be understood. Like the symbolism of the mockingjay pin or the reverence of the three fingered salute. As a true fan I felt the full weight of the three fingered salute.
Is it just me or does Donald Sutherland as President Snow seem to lack a certain chill? I like my villains ice cold. So cold their smile sends a glacier down your spine as they dare you to defy them. And Katniss does by suggesting she and Peeta eat the poisonous berries together, leaving no victor for Snow to parade around. Essentially throwing “the games” back in his face. This was a risky move. It works, they both get out alive, but not without consequences. We’ll have to wait for Catching Fire to see the full extent of those consequences. I can’t wait! Can you?
Click here to check out more Hunger Games items including the motion picture soundtrack, companion guides, and unofficial cookbook at our library.