The Hunger Games--Movie Review


Yesterday I was finally able to see The Hunger Games. I read all three books at the beginning of last year and couldn't wait to experience the scenes I loved on the big screen. 

While it's still fresh in my mind, I wanted to share a few thoughts. These are in a bulleted list, because that seems to be the easiest way to go about it. 

I liked: 
  • The capitol was very close to what I pictured. The costumes and make-up were spectacular. 
  • The cast did well. Jennifer Lawrence (who played the lead, Katniss) was believable and fun to watch.
  • The violence was handled well and was realistic but not overly graphic.

I didn't like:

  • I felt like the movie lacked a clear explanation of the world and the characters. Having read the book before the movie, I was grateful to be able to fill in the blanks, but I can see how someone who hadn't read the books might get confused or feel left out.
  • I loved Gale in the books. Team Gale all the way! I was sad, then, when Gale wasn't presented in the same light in the movie. Some people have argued that Gale wasn't in the books very much, so how can I like him. To that I say, I don't know, but I do. He wasn't in the movie at all hardly, though, and the shots they did show him in (all three of them) were random. (The row full of twelve-year-old girls in front of me at the theater who kept "awww"ing whenever they showed Gale's face didn't help ease my annoyance one bit.)
  • My image of Haymitch from the book was much more of a fat, obnoxious drunkard. Though Woody Harrelson did a commendable acting job, the character in the movie wasn't done as I had imagined. He mostly seemed too helpful and level-headed.
  • There needed to be more set-up or explanation to Peeta and Katniss's love story. I knew from the books how confused Katniss was by Peeta and how unsure she felt about how much she was supposed to (or wanted to) act the part of a star-crossed lover. Though I can see how it would be hard to portray this kind of inner turmoil in a film, to me the whole thing felt random--and would have felt even more random if I hadn't read the book.
  • One of my biggest issues was that they needed to explicitly state how many tributes were left. This happened only once at the beginning, and it needed to happen more to help the audience understand how far along the games were.
So that's about all I can think of right now. My "didn't like" list is longer than my "like" list, obviously. Still, I don't mean to hate on The Hunger Games. Overall it was a good movie and one that I would watch again. This won't, however, go down as the best movie I've ever seen--and it's not one I'm going to rush out and buy on DVD. What I do want to do now is read the books again so I can dive into a suspenseful, first-person, present-tense account of the games from Katniss's point of view. That, and so I can swoon over Gale again. I might be in the minority over on Team Gale, but I know I'm not alone. 
Melissa said...

I love the books and movie! Ive actually watched the movie twice! I agree with most of your review, especially the haymitch part. I really expected him to be an overweight, sloppy drunk...which wasn't really what the movie portrayed!

Christi Lynn said...

i totally agree with what you didn't like! I felt like if you had never read the book you would be sooooo lost. luckily ive read it :)

Allison said...

I totally agree with your review! I felt like overall it was just missing something. I do want to re-read the books again now though!

LeAnna said...

I just read the series earlier this week (all three books in less than 48 hours, it was a good time) and really enjoyed them. I cried at the end of Mockingjay...somehow love is so much sweeter when it's been put through the fire.

So glad I read the books first, but I do want to see the movie now! Might have to send the kids to my Mom's for the afternoon and go watch it by myself, I'm not married to a movie theater loving man...

I will try to make a point to say hi at church! We usually sit way up in the balcony with Jeff/Becky and Crew.

Michelle said...

I haven't seen this but, my daughter went with a friend last week. She enjoyed it, but liked the books better.

Amy Nielson said...

i was so torn with gale vs. peeta all through the book but ended up liking peeta. but movie gale? HOT.