Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie Review

I went to go see the movie at the midnight release on Thursday, and I’m going again today! I needed some time to think though, before writing a review.  Skip this review if you don't want any spoilers!!!!!!

My feelings
I LOVED this movie. I feel that they captured every single facet of the book that was important. Did they leave out some stuff? Yes. Was some of it stuff I liked? Yes. But the important thing is that what they left out did not in any way take away from the feel or message of the book. I think it may be one of the best movie adaptations of a book I’ve ever seen. It certainly beat the pants off of the Twilight series and a good number of the Harry Potter ones as well. I left the theatre in awe, thoroughly satisfied that the book had been re-created in film as well as possible.

The cast
Every member of this cast nailed the characters. This movie was as well-cast as the Harry Potter movies. For me, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson BECAME Katniss and Peeta. Proof? I felt the need to go back and re-read the book and now I picture the 2 of them in my head while I read, the same way that I pictured Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

Jennifer Lawrence was impeccable. She portrayed the grittiness, strength and instinct to survive that Katniss embodies in the book. There was not one moment that I questioned her character.

Josh Hutcherson was incredible as well. He captured Peeta’s quiet strength and his kindness and vulnerability. I think I fell in love with him by the time the movie was over. The chemistry between Peeta and Katniss was just crackling by the end of the movie! I felt like one of the silly capitol citizens, giddy over the star-crossed lovers.

The other characters were also wonderful. Rue immediately captured my sympathy and Donald Sutherland embodied the evil President Snow. The most surprising cast member for me was Woody Harrelson. I had doubts about him, but he played a perfect Haymitch. He was drunk and rude, but tough and able when push came to shove.

Whoever did the casting for this movie needs to get a big bonus!!!

The Story

This is one of the most faithful adaptations of a book that I have every seen. Even down to descriptions of fight scenes, the book was recreated faithfully. There were changes, but they were not changes that made a difference in major plot points of the story. I read a review somewhere where the reviewer said that Gary Ross had made a movie that was at once both epic and intimate. I totally agree with that. Even though the story was not narrated by Katniss as it is in the book, there was still that feeling of intimacy with her throughout the film.
The setting

Almost all of the District 12 sections were filmed about 10 minutes from my house. No, I’m not lying. Yes, I teach students who were extras in the movie. It was really weird to see this place that I’ve known all my life up on the big screen like that, but wow! Did they ever capture the feel of Appalachia. I think that they did a fabulous job showing the poverty and despair of District 12 and the Capitol was amazing! The arena was just as I imagined it to be.

What I wish had been different

This is a nitpicky little list here…..really, the movie was so good. These are just my own little things that I would have liked to see.

1. I wish they would have shown District 11 sending the bread to Katniss.
2. I wish they would have explained the muttations at the end of the movie and how they are the fallen tributes.
3. I wish they would have made it clear that for Peeta, it’s all the real thing.
4. I wish they would have shown that Peeta and Katniss were separated for days after they won and reunited on stage with Caesar Flickerman.

Yes, these are petty little things and in no way took away from my enjoyment of this movie. I cannot wait until Catching Fire!

(and I’m going to try and be cast as an extra since they’ll be filming 10 minutes from my house again!!!)

What did you think of the movie?  I'd love to hear other people's thoughts!

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your review of the movie! I saw it and I too have a few petty things that I would have liked to have seen in the movie but overall it was a great adaptation of the book. Catching Fire cannot come soon enough.