In the last week I was able to see The Hunger Games movie twice and have mixed feelings about the movie. I enjoyed the books, not quite as obsessively as some I know (eyes on you Pop and The Bee). The books are fantastic (although I recently heard a segment on NPR about this book being a replica of something called Battle Royale) and I highly recommend that you read them. The movie…good, but.
Basically The Hunger Games is a book/movie about a post war torn America, now called Panem. Panem is divided into 12 districts and each year, as a “reminder” for the war that tore the country apart, 24 children (a male and female) from each district are chosen to fight in what is called The Hunger Games. These children fight to the death and a victor is chosen. Each year there is a reaping in which the tributes are randomly chosen and Katniss Everdeen volunteers to be her district’s female tribute when her young sister is selected for the games.
As for the movie being good, but…
…this movie was long as heck! The first time I saw the movie I was yawning halfway through (I am old). It seemed that the movie dragged and was slow at places. The second viewing wasn’t so bad but I look forward to watching it from the comfort of my couch while my hands are busy. Despite this assertion
…the movie felt rushed. Katniss’s relationships with Cinna, Rue and Peeta could have been developed a bit more. In the books Katniss bonds with Cinna as he guides her from defiant, scared tribute to the front runner. Here Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz, just seems to be doing his jib. Well.
Also the Rue/Katniss bond. Not there. Rue reminds Katniss of Prim, the sister who’s place she takes during The Reaping. There was no build up as to why Katniss would feel protective of this person, Katniss just seemed like a swell gal.
And Peeta…there was no chemistry between the two of them. Speaking of Peeta
…why does he still have two legs? He lost a leg which was a big deal in the book. Here he suffered from a major cut. That soup, sleep and “medicine” cured.
…I found the supporting cast, Elizabeth Banks’s Effie Trinket and the always awesomely, wonderful Stanley Tucci’s Caesar Flickerman, stealing the show whenever they were on the screen. People from the Capitol of Panem are over the top and these two did not disappoint. (But really, isn’t Stanley Tucci great? He was even good as a boot loving dognapper in 1992’s Beethoven). Except…
…Woody Harrelson as Haymich was great although he was way more tolerant of these kids than the book. In the book he was all gristle and gruff. Here, he was a bit more annoyed.
…what was the deal with Cato, the district 3 Tribute, monologuing at the end? Really? He had to have his say about being a participant in the games? Whateves! Throughout the movie he was dropping folks for sport and then all of a sudden he starts feeling bad? I call shenanigans!
Overall the movie is a must see. The soundtrack is beautiful and the movie did manage to not sensationalize children killing each other. I was a bit disappointed that after the spectacular opening of The Hunger Games movie the backlash began. The issue was not that this was a movie based on a book in which children are forced to fight to death,. Nor was the issue that there was copious amounts of bloodshed (not as much as the book and not quite as violent as I thought). No one even whimpered a tick about the fact that Peeta still has two legs (shenanigans!). Nope. The issue that seemed to make the rounds was that the character of Rue was portrayed by Amandla Stenberg and that fashion designer Cinna was played by Lenny Kravitz, both are actors who are not white. I refuse to link to the sites; the hate and vitriol spewed is way too evil to even keep sharing but I mention it because this “post-racial” world that we are living in. Yeah. Everybody ain’t there yet.
I would probably check it again although I’ll wait until it comes on DVD so I can relax at home.