So, The Hunger Games movie has only been out for six days and I have already seen it twice. Obviously I really loved it. It is not nearly as good as the book (I mean, how could it be) but it did a great job of bringing the story to life. I am going to ramble on about some things I liked and didn’t like about the movie, because I am not talented enough as a writer to turn this into an actual review that flows together
I will start with what I didn’t like, so that we can end things on a positive note. Obviously this will contain *spoilers.*
**The Costumes** There was something that seemed a little off to me about the costumes. I can’t really describe what it was, but the look of some of them was just “off.” The clothes in the arena were just fine, and even the outlandish Capital stuff was okay, but I didn’t like most of Katniss/Peeta’s wardrobe. I didn’t like any of the outfits they wore while they were in the Capital. That includes their “on fire” costumes (totally lame) and their interview clothes. I had forgotten just how awesome Katniss’ dress is supposed to be, but after re-reading the book, her dress in the movie is very underwhelming. And Peeta looks like a waiter from a haunted house in his outfit.
**The BIG Moments weren’t big enough** One of the things I remember most about reading the book for the first time was all of the HUGE things that happened right at the end of a chapter…Peeta asking to train alone, Peeta saying “she came here with me,” Peeta showing up with the Careers, the spear going into Rue, etc. Literally at the end of each chapter I would hear the Dramatic Chipmunk theme in my head.
I felt like the movie mishandled most of these moments, especially the two biggest ones, the discovery of Peeta with the Careers and when they announce that two tributes from the same district can win. In the first instance when Peeta is tagging along after the Careers and Katniss sees him, she looks mildly annoyed. I wanted to scream at the screen, “WTF, Katniss!!! This is a HUGE moment in the book and you don’t even look like you are all that bothered! What is the matter with you!!!???” And the scene in the book where she finds out that she and Peeta can BOTH win, and she screams out his name….Gosh, I LOVE that in the book. In the movie, she quietly whispers his name, and is like, “Doh de doh de doh, guess I better go find that Peeta character…doh de doh de doh.” C’mon Gary Ross (Mr. Director) what the hell were you thinking in both of those scenes. You totally dropped the ball there.
**The Scene at the End** One of the most important moments in the book is right at the end when the announcer says, “whoops, wait a minute, only one of you can win.” When that happens in the book, Peeta reaches for his knife (to lay it on the ground) and Katniss whips out her last arrow to kill him. That is such a perfect example of who Katniss is (and who she will become by the end of the steaming pile of garbage that is Mockingjay) and who Peeta is and always will be. In the movie, none of that happens and it jumps right into the part with the berries and everything is rushed and hectic. I sincerely hope everyone who sees the movie actually goes home to read the book so they can see how it SHOULD have happened.
Anyway, I am being pretty harsh on the movie, but I really and truly did enjoy it. I only get nitpicky like this with things I am truly passionate about. So, without further ado, here are the things I loved!!
**Prim** Oh my gosh, I LOVED Prim in the movie. She barely registered with me at all the books; she was more of a plot device that got the first book going. But in the movie, I cried practically every time she was on screen. When she walks up to the stage and tucks in her little tail……oh man, my heart breaks!
**Gale** As a firm member of Team Peeta, I have never really been fond of Gale, but in the movie he is great!!! I loved when he pulls Prim away at the beginning and then again at the end when you see her sitting on his shoulders. Oh, and he is very nice to look at
**Effie** (I am realizing that there is a strong possibility that I might just list characters from here on out, so bear with me) Elizabeth Banks was so great as Effie! I missed some of Suzanne Collins’ humor in the movie (a lot of it came from Katniss’ inner monologue) but Effie brought out a laugh with everything she said. My favorite line in possibly the whole movie is “THAT IS MAHOGANY!”
**The Tributes** I felt like all the tributes were perfectly cast. Foxface was awesome (she is actually my second favorite character in the books after Peeta) as well as Thresh and Clove. I was very surprised with how believable Cato was (I worried I would just keep picturing him as the little skinny kid from Race to Witch Mountain) and really liked his scene at the end. And Rue, oh little Rue!!! If I could just put her in my pocket and take her home, she is so heartbreakingly adorable!!
**Peeta** I was obviously not real happy with the casting of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked him as Peeta. I always knew he would be great in the part acting wise, but I worried about him being “big enough” to play Peeta. I found that in the end, it didn’t really matter. He perfectly embodied Peeta on screen and I only noticed a couple of times when they really tried to hide the height difference (did you notice how Katniss and Peeta spent a lot of time sitting down or not standing directly next to each other). My favorite moment in the whole movie hands down is at the very end when they are about the eat the berries and Katniss is busy paying attention to the cameras and Peeta reaches over and touches her braid. In that moment you can tell how much he is totally in love with her. My little heart melts just thinking about it
**Peeta’s Camoflage Skills** ‘Nuff said.
**Extra Training Scenes** I liked the added scenes with Rue and the knife and Peeta throwing the giant metal thing.
All in all, I really enjoyed the movie. I am so happy that it is doing well, and I am actually looking forward to watching Catching Fire (which is saying a lot since I didn’t like the second book).
So, what did you all think??
*I didn’t really comment on Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss because I am kind of indifferent to her. I didn’t love her as Katniss, but I didn’t hate her either. She was kind of just “there.”
*In the very scary midnight show I was at, the high school girls in the theater literally screamed out “Woohoo Peeta!!!” “What a hottie!!” the first time he showed up on screen. Yeah, during the very emotionally charged reaping scene, that was a tad bit inappropriate.