Angela and I are both big fans of the Hunger Games series of books by Suzanne Collins, so when we heard they were making a movie we were really excited. We went to see it last Friday and both enjoyed it, but would recommend the books above the movie any day of the week. This review will go over the parts we enjoyed and the things we didn’t. If you haven’t seen the movies or read the books you should stop right now because I’m going to give everything away.
Every character looked exactly as Angela and I envisioned them. The only two that we personally didn’t see the way the casting director apparently did were:
- Haymitch – We envisioned him as a burly bearded dude (like Hagar the Horrible) and instead got a svelte Woody Harrelson
- President Snow – I (Nick) thought he would look a lot more transparently evil, but Donald Sutherland played the part as a type of low-key evil (which Angela really enjoyed)
Everyone else was pretty much perfect.
Plot / Storytelling
The director followed the books almost to a tee. A major deviation at the end to humanize Cato was present but understandable. Other than that, the only issues we had with the story was the fact that so much was left out. Some major things were:
- Lack of exposition on relationship between Katniss and Gale
- Not nearly enough attention was paid to the fact that Peeta actually loves Katniss and Katniss is just using that as a tool
- In the book, Katniss gorges herself on food before the games because she’s never been so sated before – that is not even peeked at in the movie
Not major deal breakers, but we thought they were things that were missing.
This was the worst part of the movie. During the first few minutes you get the effect of the cameraman walking unsteadily around District 12. That was pretty bad – I felt a bit queasy for that part. After that, you get random out of focus shots at various parts throughout the film – I wasn’t a big fan of the effect and it gave Angela a headache.
It wasn’t enough to kill the movie for us, but neither one of us thought that the film was very well presented in terms of camera and editorial work.
The movie was pretty fantastic. They didn’t mess with the plot too much and the casting was great. They did leave out some parts of the exposition that Angela and I feel would have helped the film along, but they weren’t that important and we can’t fault the director for making the choices they did.