Friday, March 30, 2012

The Hunger Games on the Big Screen

Before we get down to the nitty gritty, I must say that if you can see The Hunger Games with one teen and one pre-teen girl, please do. Their reactions are even better than the film. Now, I wholeheartedly admit that I can be a pest at the theater. I tend to want to play Mystery Science Theater 3000. So, thank you to Rooobecca, Em and Yelena for dealing with my commentary. Now onto the good stuff...
Pros
  • Jennifer Lawrence did an impeccable job as the heroine, Katniss Everdeen. Although, I felt distanced from the character, she really nailed the nuances of Katniss' personality. Katniss didn't set out to change the world or start a revolution. She wanted one thing and one thing only - to survive. "I just can't afford to think like that." Quite right.

  • The quiet. I adored loved the film had a limited soundtrack and utilized the lack of sound as an intensifying element. I look for this technique in horror movies, and I appreciated it here.

  • The Capitol. WOW! Whoever designed the setting and worked on the visual effects should be given an award for these sequences. Stunning beyond words.

Cons
  • The lack of intensity. The core of the story is about teenagers thrust into a hostile environment to kill each other until one person is left alive. So, why the heck was I so bored? I don't need the intense violence shown, but I do need to feel like I'm fighting for my life along with the characters. Didn't happen.

  • Emotional distance from Katniss. Now, granted Katniss is fairly detached from her emotions, except for perhaps her interactions with her sister and Rue. She uses this as a defense mechanism to survive. But, in the book, we can dig under that armor and get to the layers beneath that is Katniss. This didn't translate to film.

  • Rue, we hardly knew ye. Without putting in spoilers, I can say that the tie between Katniss and Rue is flimsy on the big screen. When the pivotal moment between them comes, it left me feeling empty. They didn't allow this camaraderie to develop enough. Now, if you want to see how that scene could have been done differently, check out the fan-made short film from Mainstay Productions.
She is too adorable.
Overall
       The book is usually better than the film in my estimation 90% of the time. This round was no different. The movie did an admirable job of bringing The Hunger Games to life, but if you haven't read the book - heck all three of them - you are missing out. Don't rely on the film alone, pick up the book.

Rating: B+

PS I'm appalled, as I'm sure many of you are, by the outburst of racism regarding the actors cast to play Rue, Thresh and Cinna.I refuse to link to any of the vicious tweets and posts out there. But, I wanted to say that if we continue to see and judge people by the color of their skin, then we might as well live in a dystopian society. Because nothing is more enemy to the human spirit that a prejudice mind.

4 comments :

  1. Most of those racist Tweets were so dumb. One idiot even said, "Didn't they [the producers] read the book?" Um, did you? Because clearly the District 11 people were black in the book.

    I find it ironic because people complain when movies like "The Last Airbender" get whitewashed by Hollywood. I guess you really can't make everyone happy.

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  2. Great review, Tina! I'm going to see it tomorrow. :)

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  3. I think a movie should be able to stand on its own without having to resort to the book to really "get" it. This movie failed at that. I was never able to engage with the movie, and most people say "well, you should have read the book, then..." But I shouldn't have to read the book to be able to enjoy the movie. Beyond that, a movie should make me -want- to read the book anyway, if it's done well, and this one didn't. At all.

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