If you haven’t seen the movie yet, please do not read my review since it will be riddled with spoilers. 🙂
Since I just came home a little while ago from watching The Hunger Games movie, I figured I’d best do a review before I forget all my points.
Hmmm, now where to begin? Let’s split the movie into 2 parts: before the Games and then the Games themselves.
I absolutely loved before the Games. The tone, the setting, the portrayal of District 12, the reaping, all of it. The tone was just perfect; when the Peacekeepers came to take Katniss away, and you could hear Prim screaming hysterically, I actually got tears in my eyes, because the look on her face was heartbreaking. The sense of desperation in District 12 was just so haunting, especially the scene of the reaping.
When I first watched the trailer, I wasn’t feeling Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss whatsoever. She just didn’t seem right for the role. But after watching her in the film? I’ve completely changed my mind!
I’ve actually never seen her in anything else before, but she was perfect as Katniss. She had this unlikeable quality about her, this arrogance and brashness, which was exactly how Katniss was and immediately convinced me right away that she was perfect for this role. Given the fact that she’s the protagonist, I missed hearing her thoughts, which is something you obviously lose when you move from a book to a movie medium (unless you do voice overs), but the director did these intense close-ups to her face, and showed everything as if it was from her point of view, which made it seem like I still knew what she was thinking. It was amazing. I think she was probably my favourite part of the movie, hands down.
Since I didn’t reread the book before I watched the movie, I had sort of forgotten how much time is spent in the training, before the actual Games. I felt like that part was a bit too long, but it was still done well. I loved the details they spent on the weird costumes of the citizens of the Capitol, and the efforts taken to show us how sick and twisted this whole thing is, seen especially in the loud cheers and jeers of the citizens during life or death situations for the tributes.
In every single trailer that was released, the Games were never actually shown. I figured this was done to maintain the element of surprise, because they were going to blow me away. Unfortunately, they didn’t.
For some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it. In the books, my heart pounds throughout the entire Games, each and every time I read it. There’s this adrenaline rush that you experience, and I wish this could have been experienced more in the film, especially at such crucial moments.
The thing that bugged me the most, though, was the scene with the berries. Katniss has barely suggested to Peeta that they both die, and Peeta has barely agreed, before the gamekeepers are begging them to stop. For such an important scene, a scene that changes everything and becomes the seed for a rebellion, I would have liked it to be much more dramatic. It was over way too quickly for it become such an important moment in the coming months.
Something else that niggled at me was the way we kept being pulled out of the Games. I get that this needed to be done to explain the reason why certain things were being done, but it just took away from the action, and any sense of urgency that we had gained.
The ending itself wasn’t all that climactic in general. Again, I didn’t feel that sense of urgency, that sense of fear, in the pit of my stomach as I watched Katniss look President Snow in the eye and know that she’s far from safe, from from being free.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was evident that Suzanne Collins had a role in the writing of the screenplay, since things followed the original order. Jennifer Lawrence was easily my favourite actor, but Liam Hemsowrth and Josh Hutcherson were also really good. I definitely see why Gale was added more throughout the film. There’s two fights at the end that blew me away, and that’s not including the fight with the mutts, who were actually really scary.
With beautiful cinematography, superb acting, and excellent attention to the details, The Hunger Games is a must-see.
Thanks for reading,