Book to Movie: The Hunger Games

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guys, The Hunger Games! It happened! It was epic! So much has already been said that I will not attempt to be coherent -- I just want to share my own opinions. I'll start with the negative because I want to end on a positive note. {SPOILERS follow}

Things I didn't like:
1. Peeta seemed kind of cheesy. Granted, I wasn't a huge Peeta fan in the first book, anyway. I mean, I liked him, I thought he was sweet, but I was Team Gale all the way at first. I can't tell if Peeta was portrayed as slightly less awesome than he really is, or if it is just the same thing I experienced with the first book, but he didn't quite wow me.
2. So much was left unexplained. I know, I know, it is a movie, and we don't have the privilege of being inside Katniss' head. And I think they did the best they could -- we can tell there is tension between Katniss and her mother, we can tell that Katniss is not quite all there in the cave with Peeta, etc. But I wondered if I could tell because I had read the books, or if the movie was really portraying it accurately, if that makes sense.
3. I wish that you could tell that the Mutts were made from the tributes. That was such a total piece of creepiness, and it is missing in the movie.

Things I liked:
1. Gale. I know he has been mocked as a mouth breather and a brooder, but I loved him. I was Team Gale for a long, long time, and Liam Hemsworth surpassed my expectations. When he is waiting for Katniss at the end, with Prim on his shoulders, I melted a little bit.

2. Effie Trinket was beyond amazing. Well done, Elizabeth Banks.

3. I was also a fan of Cinna. For some reason, I could never quite picture him in the books. I feel like Lenny Kravitz did a good job of portraying Cinna's tenderness toward Katniss, despite the limited screen time.

4. Katniss as the Girl Who Was On Fire. I loved the costumes. I also loved how the interview scene was portrayed.

5. In fact, Katniss in general. It is undeniable that Jennifer Lawrence is a stellar actress. There was not a single scene where she disappointed me. Even though so much is left unsaid in the movie, she does as well as anyone humanly could in conveying the unsaid sections.
6. The Rue scene. Sad, sad, sad, but well done.
7. The end near-suicide scene. This is the one scene that completely redeemed Peeta for me in this movie. The absolutely hopeless look on his face, the way he reaches out to tug Katniss' braid -- I loved him.

8. Seneca Crane was impeccable.

9. I know some people complained about this, but my brilliant husband, who has taken a film class, explained to me that the shaky camera, the way up close shots of Effie during the Reaping, and the ringing you hear after the Careers' food supply is blown up are all film techniques to help you be in the mind of the character. While I wouldn't have picked up on this on my own, being able to think about it made me really appreciate it. I think it was very effective.

What did you think of the movie?


  1. I loved Gale too and I'm still team Gale. I did like Peeta in the movie, though. I haven't read the book for so long that I couldn't remember enough to be too picky about the movie. It helped me enjoy it better, I think.

    1. It's been a while since I've read the book, too. I want to reread it now, not so much to compare it to the movie but just because the movie reminded me of how great it is and made me want to go back to it.

  2. I didn't mind the ringing from the mines blowing up or the quiet, muffled sound that Katniss hears during her interview. But, the shaky camera, I hate that. I know it helps it seem more real, but I've never been a fan of that.

    Good review!

    1. I didn't completely like it because it made me nauseated, but I think it was clever, if that makes sense. I also kind of like the idea that the movie is slightly uncomfortable to watch because it is dealing with such an uncomfortable issue.

  3. I would agree with you on everything except I felt Peeta was perfect as well. He was abused as a child, overlooked and never felt like he was part of life. I thought his character came out quite clear on the screen. I loved when he touched her braid too. Even though the cinemetography was a little hard on the eyes and the sensitive stomach I felt like I was seeing things and feeling things the way Katniss did--which was totally the way the book was written. I loved the whole thing! I think there were holes for people who read the books but for non-readers the movie was very fluid.

    1. I've heard mixed responses on Peeta. I am glad you liked heairng and seeing things like Katniss did -- I loved it as well. I do wish I'd read the books shortly before just because it has been a few years, but other than that I really loved it.

  4. Great review, Lorren! I'll admit that I've laughed about Gale as a mouth breather, but I actually really liked him in the movie. And holy cow, Elizabeth Banks was awesome as Effie! I loved her, and she definitely became one of my favorite characters. Jennifer was so great at communicating her emotions without saying a word. I was so impressed! And I loved Peeta touching Katniss' braid - it seemed like such a sweet gesture :)

    After re-reading the books after seeing the movie, I realized just how much people missed out on in the movie if they had never read the books. I thought the movie was awesome, but they didn't really "explain" a lot of things. My husband (who has never read the books) totally missed a couple of points - like what it meant for Gale to have his name in 46 times, whether Katniss really loved Peeta or was doing it for show, etc.

    Overall, I was happy though! What do you think will happen now that Gary Ross isn't directing Catching Fire?! I really hope the movies still look like they go together, and it's not totally obvious that they have two different directors.

    1. Some of the questions you mention your husband asking didn't even cross my mind! That would have been kind of confusing. I had no idea that Gary Ross wasn't directing Catching Fire! Hopefully the style isn't completely different -- I really loved it in Hunger Games.


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