Thursday, 29 March 2012
Devouring Films: The Hunger Games
Let's see. Well, firstly I went to see the movie with my sister who had just finished re-reading the book, which was really annoying because any tiny little detail that wasn't right she kept going 'well, that didn't happen there', 'he's not Peeta', 'Effie's eyelashes are the wrong colour', shit like that. I had apparently forgotten all the book, which is why you shouldn't read things at about 4am during Dewey's Readathon, or if you do, you shouldn't expect to remember them. The details that bugged me the most were: that the Mockingjay pin lost almost all of its meaning, because Katniss got it for her sister and then her sister gave it back to her like 5 minutes later? What?! And also that the muttations were really just big dogs, because what happened to the most horrifying thing about them? I guess that was maybe a step too far for it to still be a 12A (or PG-13 or whatever it was in the US) but still, I didn't really find them as scary and twisted as they were in the book because of that.
But, aside from that, and the fact that the action in the arena happened maybe a little bit too fast for me (I get that it's an action film, and a pretty actiony book, but in the book there was definitely more breathing time in between events- but I guess that most of that breathing time happened in Katniss's head and that's much harder to show on film) I did really enjoy the film. I liked the fact that it was fairly bleak from the beginning, as it should be, and I was nearly crying so close to the beginning- during the reaping, in fact, just because I was like 'Katniss! You're kind of wonderful!' And I, of course, definitely cried when Rue died because UGH! Heartwrenching. What I think was best about the film though was the way that it really made it clear how The Hunger Games work from a TV perspective and behind the scenes, because you don't really get a clear impression of this just from being in Katniss's head. This way, it was almost more twisted because you could see how excited all the people of the Capitol were about these children who were about to die, and exactly how messed up the entire thing is. I mean, obviously you get that from the books too, but it's more about Katniss's will to survive rather than taking a wider look at the society within which it's set.
And, a quick note on the performances: Jennifer Lawrence was amazing as Katniss, Rue was completely adorable (don't even get me started on the racist reactions to her, I can't even..) Peeta was ok, and it didn't really matter how Gale was because he was hardly in it, as it should be! But he was ok too. I was utterly distracted whenever Seneca Crane was on the screen though, because I knew I knew him, and yet I couldn't place him, but a quick IMDb search when I came home revealed that he also played Ricky Fitz in American Beauty, to which I went DUH, as well as thinking that maybe people in your favourite movies maybe shouldn't be allowed to be in other things because it's too confusing (as in, I think he's only Ricky Fitz, he can't be anyone else!). I liked Effie a lot less in the film, not really because of her performance, but because she's part of the whole system that does this to children; but then again, so is everyone, so I can't really blame her. But I sort of did, and so I liked her a lot less.
So yeah. Overall, I was pretty impressed, and I think that, even though I bitch about people who haven't read the book before seeing the movie (most of the time) I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn't known what was going to happen. But I did, and it was still fine, so that's all good! The most enlightening moment of the evening was when I asked my (older) sister if she'd volunteer for me if The Hunger Games were a real thing. After hesitating for ages, she said that she wouldn't because she thought I'd have more chance of surviving than her, to which I say HA, and errr no. But still, I guess I'd be in them on my own then! I'm trading my sister in for Katniss any day now...
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Yea! I really hate when everyone posts about the same book, too, but the movie? I can't get enough. I posted about it on Sunday because I saw it Saturday night and almost couldn't sleep it was so good and thought provoking.ReplyDelete
I agree that what you liked (and I liked) was the ability to really see the overall impact of the Games and not just the insular view we mostly get in the book. The Gamekeeper's role was also emphasized, which I think is important, and the last scene with Seneca was perfect. Perfect. Chilling and freaky and indicative of impending doom overall.
That is HILARIOUS that your sis said no. :)
She is EVIL! Hehe.Delete
The last scene with Seneca was great! Oh my gosh! So chilling and horrible and you just know that he's doooomed! But yeah, I definitely like seeing the games from the outside and just thinking even more that they're so so so wrong!
Okay thank you for mentioning how the mockingjay pin kind of lost its meaning in the film. Not only because she bought it for her sister and then her sister gave it back, but they failed to explain that a mockingjay itself is kind of a symbol of revolution against the capitol since it bred with the other kind of bird and survived even against the capitol's will.ReplyDelete
Also I have to say I did like Effie in the movie I thought Elizabeth Banks did a great job. I also loved Woody Harrelson as Haymitch.
I know! It's like they wanted to leave it out, but they obviously couldn't because of all the significance in the other two books (ie the last book's bloody called Mockingjay!) and so they just reluctantly added it but didn't know what to do with it. SO ANNOYING!Delete
I didn't have a problem with Elizabeth Banks' performance, it's just that... in the book, Katniss kind of likes her, and so we like her, but in the film I kind of realised more just how much of a massive part of the system she is and that makes me cross and sad. Woody Harrelson was awesome though.
I've not seen the film yet. (I hate crowded theatres). I may wait until it is released on dvd. I have heard all the racist debates which is stupid. I've seen photos of the girl who played Rue and she's adorable.ReplyDelete
She is SO cute! I'm just like GARRGH, go away racist people! It is pretty good, but I think it can definitely wait for dvd, if you know what I mean- in terms of visuals, it's no Lord of the Rings which really really needs to be seen on a big screen!Delete
I completely agree on the Mockingjay pin and the muttations. I always saw the pin as a sign that she never asked to be the leader of a rebellion, that responsibility was just kind of given to her. And the muttations are such a good example of how evil-minded the people in power are, and how they like to use psychological warfare to mess with people.ReplyDelete
And dude, I'm jumping on the bandwagon and writing a post about the movie too... cause why not. LOL.
Indeed. Stupid movie people messing things up because they don't want to explain another character!Delete
BANDWAGON JUMPING IS THE BEST! Seriously!
I loved the movie to bits. I especially liked the added perspective of getting to see how the people in different districts reacted while watching the games. They definitely gave President Snow a more ominous role early on, too, as I don't remember him being in the first book that much.ReplyDelete
The only bit I really, truly missed from the book was when Rue's district sent Katniss a piece of bread in the arena as thanks for her compassion/friendship with Rue. The change with the muttations didn't really bother me, as I couldn't see how they could make the dogs look like the tributes. It probably would have looked really fake.
Yesssss, I did like extra things that weren't included in the book but were in the film ready for the next one! Because it felt natural and like it could easily have been in the books, if Katniss had been privy to such scenes. I missed the bread too because it was such a lovely gesture, but hey, they had a bit of an uprising in District 11 instead! I thought the muttations didn't look that great anyway, but yeah, I guess making them look like the other tributes may have been a bit crappy/laughable rather than horrible.Delete
Great review. I didn't enjoy the fast action shots neither. But definitely like the movie.ReplyDelete
Yay! The general consensus seems to be 'yay The Hunger Games!' which I approve of :)Delete
So I waited to read this until I saw the movie which I just did yesterday so now I want to talk about it with everyone! So this might be long. I'm going to apologize upfront for that.ReplyDelete
I agree that there wasn't as much breathing room in the film but I think the breathing room would have just slowed down the film's momentum. I was super happy the cave time was cut down because I would not have been able to handle that much eye-rolly romance time.
I wished there was more with the TV announcers. Like you said, you get to see how excited people are and just reminding you that "This is a TV show and this is entertainment for people!! WTF??" was great. Also it was creepy to see how little emotion the announcers had when telling you another tribute was gone. These people are dead! I've seen sports announcers more upset over a missed free-throw.
I LOVED Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. She was amazing AND toned down all of the annoying whiny-ness that I had trouble getting past. And Rue was amazing! And Cato! They let the Career Tribute talk! and those last lines he had when he was saying he could kill Peeta even though it's obvious he'll die because it's all he's ever been taught to do. Jennifer Lawrence made me love Katniss but I still would LOVE to see the Careers' side of the story.
DUDE, that was such an essay! You clearly need to blog about this movie!Delete
Yeah, the fast pace was probably fairly appropriate. And to be honest, I could have watched the WHOLE thing through the eyes of the Capitol, seeing what got shown and what was basically left out- I know that would have detached everything from Katniss completely, but we've got the book for her perspective! It would really have been fascinating to see what kind of narrative was presented to the Capitol you know?
And, on a similar note, yes to a Career's perspective! Because their lives must have been really rough, tbh! Maybe they should do an alternative hunger games, starting with the careers' early lives, and then moving on to the Capitol's view of everything.
It's pretty late, so I should probably be ignored- But I feel like these are good ideas!!