Media Monday (6): The Hunger Games Review

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Hunger Games movie poster  I feel like I’m weeks behind on this one – seems like EVERYBODY went to see it asap and I’m the lazy (aka working) one who couldn’t go till now. *le sigh* That’s what it’s like when it’s Easter (or Valentine’s, or any other major holiday really) in a chocolate shop, I’m afraid.


Anyway, since I’d have trouble forming a coherent review I’m going to divide this up into likes and dislikes. And since there are lots, I think I’ll just stick to the major ones.

Liked: They did a really good job cinematically at drawing you into the story. When the Muttated dogs jumped out at them, I hit the ceiling, even though I knew it was coming. Jumping is pretty normal for me though. Crying sure as heck isn’t. I can count on one hand the times I’ve cried in a movie (1. Snape’s Death, 1.5 the end of ROTK (I didn’t actually cry but sure felt like I was gonna). That’s it.) But twice in this film alone, I was on the verge of tears, and while I wasn’t sniffling like the rest of the theater at Rue’s death, I certainly had a few tears leak out of my eyes.

Disliked: There is absolutely no mention of district 13, except in the video about the war, and that’s going to make it very difficult for them to introduce it later.

Liked: I may be a soundtrack junkie, but I love the places where they left it completely silent. We are so used to having the music as background in film that silence sometimes speaks more, and I think they knew that. That said, I am SO buying the soundtrack next time I deserve a treat.

Disliked: At this point, I don’t see the need to change District 11 sending Katniss bread for helping Rue to “DISTRICT 11 GOES NUTS”. They may explain this later, and I think I remember them having a riot in one of the later books, so that may be the inspiration, but at this point, I don’t understand it. I think the silent acknowledgement of a friendship that crossed districts is much more powerful. (Then again, to put this in, they would have had to show the scene where Katniss and Peeta were having lunch and he explained the breads, and they seemed quite eager to cut the training part short)

Liked: I actually really liked some of the big changes they made. I liked the representation of the Capitol and President Snow’s role, even though it was different than the book.  The bright colors and trippy make-up mostly made me think of Lady Gaga, but that’s the way I read it in the book anyway. And President Snow is a great character for Donald Sutherland, I’m very excited to see him reprise the role in later movies. And, while some people hated it, I loved the change to the Mockingjay pin. I think they probably just did it because it’s easier to explain this way, but it also gives the pin more meaning than if it came from yet another minor character that we would barely be introduced to in the film.

Disliked: Unfortunately film loses a lot of interiority by nature. I understand this. But I think some of the biggest conflicts in the books are the ones Katniss has with herself. We get, a little, in the film that she is kissing Peeta because she knows it makes a good show, but she is such a good actress (because she has to be) that the audience is taken in by it, especially if they haven’t read the book. In the book, it is very clear that Katniss doesn’t really feel much of anything but friendship toward Peeta, but that she is aware of what it has to look like. So basically, I’m complaining because film just CAN’T do what a book can. Aaaaaaand that’s why I force myself to separate books from movies – I’d judge far too much on something that I know a film can’t do anyway.

And just to end on a happy note, Liked: I think they picked the right actors. I know that’s such a little thing, but all of the tributes seemed to really BE their character. No-one shied away from the blood and gore of what they were pretending and the ones that were supposed to delight in it really did.

Overall, I think this was an extremely well done representation of the book. Filmmakers have really learned, mostly from the Harry Potter franchise, but also LOTR, just exactly how much their audiences will allow them to play with our favorite books. I think they pretty much got it right on this time. There were, of course, things I liked and didn’t like, but I think overall, they probably did the best job I have ever seen at pleasing the most amount of people and still staying true to the original intent of the book.

What did you think of the film?


(P.S. Before I saw the movie, I was avoiding reviews like the plague because I didn’t want to be influenced by other people’s thoughts on what changed. So, if you posted a review before last Wednesday, I’d love if you left a link to it in the comments so I could go back and catch all the ones I missed! Thanks!)

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One Response to “Media Monday (6): The Hunger Games Review”

  1. […] Even The Hunger Games, as well done as I thought it was had some flaws – in fact for my review I had it about evenly matched between things I absolutely loved, and things I thought they could […]

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