This post contains spoilers for The Hunger Games film and books.
This is it guys. My last post about The Hunger Games for a while. This is just a jumble of my thoughts about the film. It is probably redundant at this point what with The Hunger Games overload last (and this) week. I don’t blame you if you don’t read it.
First I just have to say (again) that I loved it. Jennifer Lawrence did a great job as Katniss. One of my concerns about the film was how they were going to convey Katniss’s thoughts since the book is entirely from her point of view. I reread my goodreads review recently and apparently I didn’t like Katniss’s voice for the first 100 pages of the book. I started to like her once she was in the arena though. So for me, losing Katniss’s thoughts wasn’t a big deal. And Jennifer Lawrence is so expressive, everything you need to know is on her face.
The movie uses the announcers to explain certain elements of the arena, like the tracker jackers, like I thought they would. They also showed the game control room a lot, very early on, which let the audience know immediately what the arena looked like and let them know pretty early on how the game makers could control every element in the arena.
I loved Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, and I thought Amandla Stenberg was a great Rue. On the whole though, the PoC (person/people of color) representation wasn’t as good as I thought it would be after seeing the casting of the tributes. There were nine tributes who I thought were PoC (I tried to look some of their ethnicities up, but there’s not a ton of information on a lot of them), but they weren’t featured nearly as much as the white tributes. And besides Thresh and Rue, no named tributes were PoC.
I cried a lot. Throughout the whole film (I started crying at the Reaping).
Some of the editing is strange. At the Reaping there were a few moments where I found myself wondering, “Why am I staring at the back of Effie Trinket’s neck?” And there are a few scenes of shaky cam that made me feel disoriented. The scene when Katniss and Peeta are attacked by Cato on top of the cornucopia was the worst for me.
I thought there could have been more emphasis on the conflict between Katniss and the Capitol/judges. There was some (I loved the scenes in President Snow’s rose garden), but not as much as I thought there would be (considering where the series is going). Like, the movie didn’t emphasize the symbolism of the mockingjay (but it got enough air time that when it does become important it won’t be coming out of nowhere). Though maybe that’s true to the book. And the tributes scores. In the book I thought that a high score was a good and bad thing. Good: people will know you’re a threat. Bad: that puts a target on your back. In the film they treat Katniss’s score of 11 only like it’s a good thing. In the book, (I think) it was the judges getting back at her for her shooting an arrow at them.
However, all of these “problems” I have are incredibly nitpicky. They might not even be fair expectations of the film. I don’t remember what was in each book, so I’ll definitely be revisiting these thoughts after a reread of the trilogy. The film is great. The story that they chose to tell works. There was nothing important left out, just a lot left to explain (which is what happens when you tell a story over the course of three films).
One last thing: I LOVE that they downplayed the love triangle. I don’t understand why the fandom is so caught up in Gale vs. Peeta. It does become a bigger storyline in the later books, but to me it was never the important thing. To me the real love story is Katniss’s love for Prim. The movie emphasizes this by changing how Katniss gets the mockingjay pin (she gives the pin to Prim before the reaping, and Prim gives it back after Katniss volunteers) and drawing more comparisons between Prim and Rue (Katniss sings them both the valley song).
Well, that’s all. I am Hunger Games-ed out. It was a fun week for blogging and, in case you couldn’t tell from any of my other posts about it, it’s a great movie. Go see it. If you want a more detailed look at the added scenes in the film (written by someone who knows the books better than I do) check out this article.