The Hunger Games had a big reputation to uphold. There was a lot being expected of the movie by lots of diehard fans. Suzanne Collins, the author of the trilogy, was working with the movie directors and scriptwriters to make the movie accurate to the books. Many people loved the movie for its insight on many events and plot points. But to a lot of other people, the expectations weren’t met.
Of course, the movie wasn’t all bad—it’s a complete box office success, it follows the plot line of the book very well, and the training center scenes were very interesting to watch. They, along with the chariot parade, offered a new point of view on how Katniss’ pre-game stay went. The Cornucopia was also very unique—it was very unlike the one in my imagination, but the movie’s Cornucopia was better equipped for the fight between Katniss, Peeta, and Cato. Also, even though Katniss’ narration makes up most of the story, and it’s obviously very hard to show thoughts in a movie, the Hunger Games still managed to make sense. The visuals of the movie made the small hints of rebellion in the arena very clear, whereas in the book, they weren’t very obvious. And the cold, futuristic blue-ness of the anthems and the score-giving screens were chilling, like that cold-voiced woman who narrates for Minute to Win It.
Another perk of the movie was that many characters were brilliant. Wes Bentley, the man who played Seneca Crane, had an amazingly intricate beard, for example. His death scene was also very creative. In the book, Suzanne Collins doesn’t describe Seneca Crane’s death very much, so I loved the insight.
Woody Harrelson was also very fitting as Haymitch. When I saw him on IMDb, I thought he would be a horrible Haymitch because his appearance didn’t seem anything like the sullen, drunk Haymitch of the stories. I was wrong. Woody Harrelson wasn’t exactly Haymitch, since his witty remarks weren’t really there, and he seemed much more clean and reserved, but he played the part well.
Jennifer Lawrence was also a great Katniss. Many people didn’t like her in this role, but I believe she was a great actress. Elizabeth Banks was a very nice Effie, as she highlighted the lack of understanding and compassion for the Districts in the Capitol. Cato also seemed very realistic, and I loved the Cornucopia scene.
However, there were also many low points in the movie. One big one was the lack of character development—this sounds cold, but we didn’t really feel as bad when they were murdered. The movie made even Rue’s death, a very important scene in the book, almost inconsequential, since Rue was Katniss’ ally for only a few minutes in the movie. Rue didn’t seem very close to Katniss at all. Also, a scene where the people from District 11 send Katniss bread after Rue dies, a fairly symbolic event, never happens, so Katniss and District 11 don’t have as close a relationship as they should’ve had.
Also, as viewers, we didn’t really get much information on Panem, or her dad, who got one short clip each, and I don’t think that we learned much about Gale and Katniss’ relationship in the movie—even just a flashback would’ve helped explain a lot about how close they were.
I also didn’t like Peeta. The bond between Peeta and Katniss was very cheesy and seemed fake—the scene in the cave where Peeta talks about when he first met her, which I actually liked in the books, was the worst. He also comes off as an attention seeker—particularly the scene where he’ s waving to the Capitol. He just wasn’t Peeta to me.
There were also a few problems other than the characters. For example, the characters just aren’t starving in the arena. They are not the desperate, rib-showing tributes they were in the books—they’re healthy and young (usually) and vicious. Also, the scenes where Katniss starts hallucinating (after the tracker jacker stings) and she goes temporarily deaf (which should have lasted longer) are very unrealistic. The hallucinating scenes just looked like the Photo Booth videos on the CLC computers. In the deaf scenes, Katniss is standing a couple of feet away from Cato but he still doesn’t see her.
Violence wasn’t shown at all. I think the producers worried that it would be too graphic. I did too, but there was no blood spurting or anything. In fact, the only signs we got that the tributes were dead were their eyes—and all of that keeling over. Even the feast was barely bloody, even though Clove’s skull was supposedly smashed in, although that would, admittedly, be hard to do.
Another big problem was the camera. It was as if the cameraman was trying to set a world record for consecutive somersaults. The camera was dizzying and out of control, and in some hectic scenes, it was impossible to understand what was happening.
I sincerely hope that the next movie of the trilogy will be amazing (And that Josh Hutcherson will be replaced). Thanks for reading! Happy Hunger Games!