Saturday, March 24, 2012
After Seeing The Hunger Games
I'm sure this dream was influenced by my viewing of The Hunger Games. After what feels like years of anticipation, the movie finally hit theaters yesterday. While I'm sure there will be a number of people who are disappointed with the final product, I'm not one of them. I thought it was awesome.
Now, I didn't come straight home to write down my thoughts about the film because I knew I would be writing out of a sense of excitement from just having left the theater. That would have probably tainted my view of things. Maybe it wouldn't have, I can't really say. I just didn't want to risk it. Because I've done that before. I've said things about movies after walking out, and then after sleeping on it and thinking about it a little more, my feelings change.
After sleeping on it, The Hunger Games is still awesome. And I still want to see it again. And I would if I had the money to spend on another movie ticket.
Look, it wasn't better than the book. I don't think there will ever be a time when I'll be comfortable saying that a movie is better than the source material. But I thought the movie stayed faithful to Suzanne Collins' novel. That being said, I think it helped a great deal that I had actually read the book before seeing this movie.
The novel is narrated by Katniss herself. This means that there's a lot of exposition happening inside the heroine's mind that cannot be fully translated to the screen, which has no choice but to tell the story from a third person perspective. So there are a lot of little details that are left out that could help explain the story.
Does that mean I don't think someone who hasn't read the book can enjoy the movie? No. I think it's still a very entertaining movie. They just might not catch as much upon first glance. Help me out with that. Anyone out there who avoided the book but was willing to see the movie, let me know what you thought.
Something that the movie was able to do was take us outside the arena. By not being tethered to Katniss' perspective at all times, we were able to see how the Gamemakers were able to make changes to the arena in order to position contenders wherever they wanted them. We got to see Haymitch working the room among the wealthy folks in the Capitol, desperately seeking sponsors for Katniss and Peeta.
Jennifer Lawrence makes a great Katniss Everdeen. She's a phenomenal young actress. If you don't believe me, watch Winter's Bone. I wasn't too sure about Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, but I thought he played the part well. The rest of the cast was pretty much spot on as well.
It was by no means a perfect adaptation. Such a thing can't exist when translating a book to the big screen. But the movie was very well done and I will be seeing it again.