Earlier today, I sat inside a movie theater, eagerly waiting for the commercials to end and the Hunger Games to begin. I expected it to be great -- judging from the epicness of the trailers -- but unfortunately, it did not live up to expectations.
SPOILER ALERT: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
While there were some positive aspects of the movie (which I'll talk about later), the movie did not reach its full potential. It had the potential to be amazing, but it felt like a mediocre, watered-down film adaptation of the books. The tributes' deaths weren't treated as the horrific events that they were. They were fast and quick (with practically no blood) -- there was no emotion associated with any of the deaths (except maybe Rue's). Additionally, Rue's death was not as heart-wrenching as it was in the books. (As a side note, I also felt that Jennifer Lawrence's rendition of Rue's Lullaby was awful, but maybe that's just my own personal opinion.) In the movie, Katniss sobs after Rue dies, which is unbelievable as the two barely even get to know each other. Also, the cave scenes could definitely have gone more in-depth. Katniss doesn't talk about how she bought Prim's goat, nor does she and Peeta share any particularly romantic scenes. The cave scenes are much too brief, and the chemistry between Katniss and Peeta is miniscule -- if not non-existent. The only death that was particularly bloody was Cato's, and unlike the books, Katniss puts him out of his misery fairly quickly. Another complaint that I have is that the mutts don't have the eyes of the tributes. They're simply large, ferocious dogs. While still horrifying, these mutts don't have the haunting effect that the mutts in the books had. Overall, the Games in general seemed like a rather low-budget shoot. The film failed in completely capturing the essence of the Games -- it failed in capturing just how awful the Games really are. In watering down the deaths, it lessened the message and the emotions that the Games are supposed to convey.
On the other hand, I felt that Haymitch was great. It was also great to see how the Gamemakers worked behind the scenes. Additionally, the riot that occurred in District 11 after Rue's death was effective in showing the effect that Katniss's actions had on the districts. I loved the portrayal of Seneca Crane (and not just because of that fabulous beard.) Wes Bentley did an excellent job at portraying the Head Gamemaker. Willow Shields was fabulous as Prim, as were Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, and Elizabeth Banks. The movie stayed fairly faithful to the books, though there were several things that weren't included (ex. the Avox girl).
In conclusion, the movie was okay, but not great. Nevertheless, there is the potential that the next films will be better.
P.S. I found the camera angles during the beginning of the Games extremely annoying. Not only did they give me a headache, but they also made it hard to keep track of everything that was going on.
What did you guys think of the movie? Leave a comment below.