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Thursday, March 29, 2012

And May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

I've seen The Hunger Games twice, now, and I thought I'd tell you all about it. If you haven't read the book (or want to be completely unspoiled for the movie) you probably don't want to read ahead.
So, hey, you still here? Alright let's go...
To start off, I loved it! And I was so worried. Ever since I heard of the existence of this movie I had very low expectations. The book was so good but so bloody and I didn't know how they would portray that and keep it PG-13. And I felt that a lot of the story was told in Katniss's head (for lack of a better term), not spoken. I was concerned about how that would translate to a movie. But they truly did do a very good job. There was really only two noticeable things that they (understandably) cut. And that was Madge's character and the backstory with the Avox girl. The Avox girl didn't add much to the story, really. I think it was just to show what could happen to Katniss if she were to rebel. As for Madge, I very much liked her character in the book but she was really only there to bring the pin into the story. In the movie, Katniss sees the pin while trading in the Hob and buys it for Prim, telling her it'll keep her safe. When Prim and her mom come to say goodbye to Katniss, Prim gives her the pin back and says, "To keep you safe." It was quite touching and, in a way, I think I almost liked the way they did it in the movie better.
As for casting (which is an aspect that always worries me before seeing a movie I'm excited for), I think they did a great job with that, as well. When I first saw Jennifer Lawrence, when they first announced her being cast, I wasn't really too happy with it. I didn't know her from anything else (most people that recognize her, it'll be from Winter's Bone). I thought she was too pretty and too...soft looking. But seeing her hair dyed and dressed as Katniss, dirty and roughed up. She looked the part. But her acting was awesome. It was plainly clear that she understood Katniss as a character. She is a great actress and I think (and hope) that she'll stick around for quite a while.
Liam Hemsworth made a good Gale. I'm not a big fan of Liam himself, and we only see Gale for a maximum of 5 minutes combined, but he does pretty well from what I can see.
As for Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. I think this was one of the best casting choices they made. Josh is Peeta. I'll admit, I was (shallowly) worried that Josh would look weird with blond hair but somehow it works. But the way they describe Peeta in the books: charismatic, persuasive, charming; he is all of those things. I'm so glad he got the part because he really is a great actor and I'm excited for him to reach a wider audience.
On to random things I liked: I liked their outfits for the chariot ride in the Capitol. The ones where they're wearing capes of fire. It looked prety good for being something so unnatural. I liked the part where Peeta admits his crush on Katniss during Caesar's talk show. That was always one of my favorite parts in the book and I was quite happy with it in the movie. I liked Katniss and Peeta in the cave. They were so effing cute. I loved every scene with Rue in it. I wish she could've been more prevalent. I love the girl they cast. She's adorable, she can act surprisingly well (or rather, I think she just felt connected to Rue in a way that younger kids can), and she makes you feel for her. Seeing her killed and Katniss decorating her with wildflowers. It was one of the most heartwrenching scenes I've ever seen. I don't think I've ever wanted to cry at movie more than I did then. And the music, music in movies has always made me so emotional, it just made the whole so much more difficult to watch without breaking down. And then we see those in District 11 give the three-fingered salute. A man we assume to be Rue's father (or, at least, I assumed this, I haven't asked anyone else) breaks away from the crowd and attacks the Peacekeepers and a riot breaks out. I loved seeing this, witnessing the first sparks of rebellion. Seeing the people finally get sick of the unfairness and injustice. It was great, in a sad way, of course.
There's one other thing that sticks out in my mind that I quite liked. In the books, Katniss explains to us what Tracker Jackers are, works out what the booby trap around the pyramid of food is, she does these in her head rather than spoken aloud. So to explain those things, they would show an ongoing commentary of the games done by Caesar Flickerman and Claudius Templesmith. They explain Tracker Jackers as if to an audience and wonder aloud whether Katniss will figure out that the Careers dug up and re-buried the mines. So I thought that was something of an innovative way to explain things.
There were really only a few things I had complaints with and both were, for the most part, fairly minor. The first was a few things that weren't explained and, to someone who didn't read the books, wouldn't be fully comprehended. The one that sticks out in my head is, what I call, the three-fingered salute. The thing that everyone does when Katniss goes up on stage at the Reaping after volunteering for Prim. When it happens in the movie, you get the sense that it's an act of solidarity. You get the gist but you don't really know where it's from or why...if you haven't read the book, of course.
The other was the cinematography. It was super, duper shaky. The first time I saw it, I legitimately thought I was going to be sick. As the movie went on I got used to it. My mum didn't, though, so I guess it all depends on the person. The second time I saw it, I wasn't really bothered at all.
So there you go, my very long-winded review of The Hunger Games movie. I have to say, I think it may have been the best book to movie adaptation I've ever seen. Better, even, than Harry Potter, simply because HP just had so much more plot and subplot to squeeze into the same amount of time.
I loved it, though. I really did.
And I hope everyone else enjoys it, as well.

Female Tribute of District 4

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