I loved the Hunger Games books. I devoured them in days if I remember correctly. The writing was great, Katniss was strong and smart and I really enjoyed the strategy and action of the games. Last night I saw the movie and am sad to say I walked out telling my friend I’d be glad to never see that again. Not all was lost though, there were some redeeming qualities. Let me preface this by saying I read this book one time back in 2010. My memory is a little sketchy on the details.
- Katniss was spot on. I think she was cast well and really embodied her.
- Haymitch was excellent as well. Maybe a little too cleaned up at parts. I imagined him a little nastier but overall attitude was captured.
- Gale was completely off for me. I didn’t imagine him so pretty or so tall or, I don’t know. Just off for me.
- Costumes were out of control amazing.
- Proud of the Carolina mountains! Loved seeing our familiar forests. I mean, not that I go into the forest a lot but you know. if I ever see them, they look like that. And I think I really appreciated it because that’s what I imagined when I read the book.
- I appreciated that they included all the important scenes…Katniss on fire, Katniss hitting the apple, the tracker jacker nest, Peeta and Katniss in the cave, Katniss ruining the group’s supplies, cornucopia scene, etc.
But here’s what I didn’t like
- For some reason reading the book I think I blocked out a little it was kids killing kids. I didn’t even think much about it until people started making a big deal about it. My first thoughts were what?? That’s not the whole point of the book. The book for me truly focused on Katniss’ survival and her strategy. Yes, there were kids involved but I’m not sure I can explain it but it just didn’t seem so brutal in the book. The movie was not at all graphic or violent but between their focus on the kids being shuffled to check-in and specifically Rue’s death I think it brought attention to something that didn’t have as much attention in the book. All in all, I suppose seeing these kids with faces made it harder for me. And yes, it could be because I have 7 and 9 year old girls and Primrose and Rue were such focal points. But no, it’s not like I was imagining Emma and Lexi going into the games and getting upset. Not like that at all.
- Seeing the difference between the Capitol and District 12 was hard, particularly through Katniss’ eyes. If you step back and think about how the book can be an allegory of how our society treats other third world countries, it was really hard to stomach. And yes, I think Suzanne Collins probably wanted that a little. But nevertheless, it made me feel really crappy when she walked in the royal blue train car because I’m a lot more like the one with a chandelier in my bedroom than the one who had a house with dirt floors. So yes, it was hard seeing America cast as The Capitol.
- I didn’t remember the kids from District 1 and 2 being so ruthless. Sure, they were trained but were they really that excited about killing Katniss? I don’t know. It’s been awhile since I read the book but I was disturbed. I think I would have been better had they been unemotional killing machines.
- I was not expecting the documentary style filming. I really was expecting an action-packed thriller and not what seemed like an emotional roller coaster. I think I just needed less emotion and the style did not help. Plus, I think it made me a little physically ill. I was tired and it was late and I was like, please just be still, camera! I love that style on Friday Night Lights though but FNL is a drama not a thriller.
- The ending was not nearly the payoff it needed to be. It was just like oh, let’s eat some berries, Oh no stop you’re the winners. Haha, just kidding! And then just to have them sit on stage and talk about it and the only resolution we saw with Primrose was a wave from the stage? NOT ENOUGH HAPPY. I realize there is more to the story and more coming but not enough good to counter balance all the bad. I think if they’d given a stronger ending, it would have resolved better for me.
All in all, there’s not much about it that I want to see again. I’ve read the book, I’ve seen it play out and it didn’t make me feel good so I just don’t care to see it again.
I realize I’m in the minority. I really do. I had one other person to see it Saturday and she hated it and I was like WHAT? Now that more have seen it, there are still only a handful of us that I’ve heard that didn’t like it. I really, really wanted to like it. I really did. I still love the book and will still recommend it. Just not the movie.
If you saw it, what’d you think? It’s ok to say you loved it, perhaps I’m coming at it from the wrong angle.