It is currently 8:22 AM as I start writing this review. I went to bed at about 3:30 AM after seeing a midnight viewing of The Hunger Games, so I want to apologize in advance for what I’m certain will be frequent grammar errors and typos and incoherence. I’ll correct them later when I’m more awake, but I wanted to get this to you guys as soon as possible because I love you.
As I said, I went to a midnight viewing of The Hunger Games. I love midnight viewings. I love waiting in line with fans. I love getting dressed in costumes. I love seeing other people’s costumes. I love knowing I’m surrounded by people all with the same purpose. But I found my line kind of disappointing. There were A LOT of people who pulled the “Team Gale” or “Team Peeta” thing, and the movie workers were encouraging it. There was even a camera crew for a local television station going around asking people which they supported and why. In short, they were trying to turn The Hunger Games into Twilight, and THANK GOODNESS the people who made this movie did not try to do the same thing.
Spoilers to follow under the cut…as soon as I can get the cut to work…spoilers after Katniss.
This movie was an amazing adaptation of the book. I’ve seen some people say it is the best book to movie adaptation ever. I’m not so sure how true that is, but I do think that Suzanne Collins’s work with television/movies definitely helped. The Hunger Games was basically written to be a movie, so I think that made adapting it an easier task than some other book to movie adaptations out there. In any case, everyone that worked on this movie came together to give an amazing and accurate movie.
I really loved the costumes, especially in the Capitol. You really got the feeling that you were in this other time and place. There was a lot of additional Capitol scenes, largely commentary during the games or seeing how Seneca runs the games, which I found really interesting because you don’t get to see them in the book. It really shows the viewers that while the Games are the main aspect of the plot, the other Tributes aren’t the villains. Haymitch never tells Katniss not to forget who the real enemy is (something that I wish had been in there because I think it’s essential to Katniss’s later decision to eat the berries with Peeta), but the viewer is shown Haymitch’s warning through the action of the play. I think there was only one time people cheered for a Tributes death in my theater (Clove’s). Every other time they were silent because we knew, even those who hadn’t read the books, that they were not the real enemies. They were the victims too.
Speaking of the victimization of Tributes, I did not like what they did to Cato. They had him kind of in this unspoken imitation Katniss/Peeta relationship with Glimmer, he doesn’t even shout in reply to Clove’s shouts before she’s bashed to death by Thresh, and then he becomes crazy thinking that if he has to die at least he can kill one last person first, having this whole revelation moment and making it very obvious to the audience that even Cato is a victim. This would be fine except Cato literally went from (pretty calmly) snapping a kids neck to insane and we didn’t get to see why. You can make the assumption that the lack of food, the death of Clove who he didn’t even seem close to, and the fact that he was apparently dying from something (the hounds?) gave him this epiphany, but then why not make THAT part more obvious? And why even have the Glimmer/Cato thing if that’s not going to affect him at all?
Another Tribute that I think they short-changed was Thresh. Thresh’s death never sat well with me in the books. He freaking smashed a girls head in with a rock. He was said to have gotten BIGGER in the Games. People were afraid to go into his “territory.” So why wasn’t HE the Victor? In the books, it seemed as if Cato managed to kill him somehow. I don’t buy it. When I complained about this, a friend suggested something in the Arena killed him. I don’t buy it: I’m sure the game makers didn’t want Thresh to win either because he helped Katniss, but I think they would have preferred to have him possibly take out Katniss then just kill him themselves. In the movies, he’s killed by the hounds, which aren’t nearly as terrifying as they are in the books. This does not work for me. Thresh is not supposed to get killed by the hounds. He’s supposed to BE a hound. (Kind of.) No. I do not accept this. One of the only things I was hoping for in the movie was an explanation for Thresh’s death, and I got a weak off-camera shout. This was on one of the very few things that disappointed me.
I feel like I’m spending a lot of time complaining about changes, but I want to make it very clear that I loved this movie. The actors were amazing, and I felt as if I was really watching the characters, even Peeta who I know a lot of people were iffy about. I’m kind of in love with Josh Hutcherson now because he’s Peeta and I love Peeta. At least I’m in love with him as Peeta.
No for real. I’m in love with Peeta. He’s hilarious. His interview scene was amazing. (On a side note, I want to see all of the interview scenes in special features please and thank you.) And the cave scene…guys my heart actually like expanded and stuff. And then broke. Our theater went “awww” all happy like and then immediately went “awww” all sad like. It was awesome.
Speaking of awesome reactions. My entire theatre was in tears during the Rue death scene. I think everyone sobbed for a good ten minutes. I was silent crying up until the salute to district eleven and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS! Then they showed eleven doing an uprising, and it was PERFECT. Such a good choice! It leads so well into Catching Fire I can’t even.
And during Katniss’s performance in front of the judges everyone cheered. Because it was awesome and I just loved this movie so much you guys. I can’t even think a little bit coherently anymore. I loved how they would have times where there was no music. I love how they did Katniss and Cinna’s relationship, though I did not like the lack of her make up team. I liked all the Capitol stuff. I wish the movie had been longer so that they could show more. I want all the special features. ALL THE SPECIAL FEATURES. And as much as there was death and gore and stuff I managed to get through it without flinching too many times or having to hide, though the hound part was totally unnecessary with the cheesy tension.
I really need more sleep right now. Whatever. So worth it.
Go see it right now.