Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Hunger Games Film

The minute Berkeley told me he finished The Hunger Games, I exclaimed that we were going to the movies. As we headed to the front of the ticket line, they posted a sign saying the time slot we were hoping for was sold out. We decided to wait around for an hour and catch the next showing. It was a great time just hanging out, chit chatting, and people watching as the theater filled before the movie started.I am going to start by saying I am not professional movie critic, nor to I wish to really critique the film, just talk about some of my feelings about the film. I will try to not spoil anything from the books or film. Secondly, I went into this movie expecting it to be a horrible adaptation.

With all of that, I have to say, the movie was pretty good. Better than expected. There are tons of film adaptations that really leave out super crucial points/details of the overall story in order to make the movie the director wants to make instead of the movie the book makes. That was not the case here. The Hunger Games movie was the visual representation of the story the book told. I do feel that this film is not its own entity and it only exists as a companion to the book.

Regardless, let's talk some specifics. You can find the plot summary of the book here and the movie here. For those that haven't read the novels, the film does do an exceptional job of jamming so much detail of books into two hours for viewers. However, just like every adaptation, some details were left out.

I feel like the film lacked a rawness that is felt from reading the books. Some of the most intense moments from the book were glossed over or cut. Even some of the crucial relationships were not built up enough throughout the course of the film to really make me care. I walked out the theater not hating the Capital as much as I did when I first finished reading The Hunger Games.

While I have some dissatisfaction, I must repeat I still liked it. And I think that has to do with the cast, but mainly Jennifer Lawrence. Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland were all amazing, but they were definitely playing second fiddle to Lawrence. Her portrayal of Katniss was powerful and moving. Her mannerisms and behaviors captured the heart and soul of the who Katniss is and what she represents in the novel. She would have been an amazing narrator for the film, instead of the lighthearted commentary given in the film. The editing can probably be attributed to the fact that the novels were Young Teen and the filmmakers wanted to keep the MPAA rating at PG-13 to maximize box office sales. I can only imagine how awesome a rated R Hunger Games film would have been.

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