I don’t normally like to write reviews of things – mostly because I feel I lack the vocabulary and critical eye anymore to really tear something apart, but I feel like I have to at least attempt to sort out my feelings about the Hunger Games movie. I left the theater not sure how I felt about the movie. I felt like it was okay. I liked some of the stuff they did, but I felt like they left some important stuff out. Most of the stuff they left out was boring, or hard to explain, and I think for movie purposes wouldn’t have really worked and would have been more confusing rather than clarifying, like explaining about the Avoxes or Katniss’ father’s role in her life before his death or what Rue’s life was like back in District 11. I think, though, that all of these historical details of the characters in the book are what drew me in.
Peeta says that he doesn’t want the games to change him. He doesn’t want to just be a piece in their game. But I feel like, without all of the background, they are just pieces. I didn’t really connect to any of the characters in the movie. I wasn’t even really rooting for Katniss or Peeta or anyone. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I actually kind of liked Clove the best out of the tributes. Maybe its something about a possibly Hapa girl with freckles that just attracts me. Who knows. But I was a little bummed. Without learning the sordid past of the Capitol and without hearing about Rue being the oldest sibling and looking out for her little brothers and sisters or Haymitch’s history of drunkenness and disdain towards Katniss throughout the majority of their interactions, I feel like everyone was kind of flat. That there needed to be more emotion. That they were just pawns in the games.
The scenes that I really liked were the scenes dealing with the Capitol. Watching their extravagance and their betting and how the games were run. The use of Steven Tucci’s character who’s name I can’t recall at this moment was pretty ingenious to explaining a lot of the movie and how the games work and the history of the games. Even President Snow was pretty amazing. He had some great lines. The display of political unrest and the games the Capitol plays with humans in the districts was done really well. The movie felt more like political commentary than anything else. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – as long as people can recognize the parallels in their own lives and expand upon it. Because although we don’t send 2 tributes per state, we might as well be living in the hunger games half the time. We’re all fighting for survival, and whether we like it or not, often times at the expense of others.
I think that I need to see the movie again. The first viewing was more a comparison of book to movie, rather than a viewing to appreciate the movie as a movie. Re-reading the book right before seeing the movie probably didn’t help either. Everything was fresh. All of the feelings I felt during certain scenes was fresh. They should have been dulled a bit before I ventured into that theater so that I could appreciate the movie for what it was instead of what it was not.
Maybe I’ll write a review again after the second viewing and see how my feelings change…