I finally went and saw the Hunger Games today! I don't know why I am saying "finally" since the movie just opened on Friday and it's probably the fastest I've seen a movie after opening day. Except for Jackass 3 on opening weekend, but that was only because I was trying to make my new boyfriend happy. I'm single now, so that worked out really well for me!
Anyways, I'm going to kind of review the movie, so if you haven't seen it and haven't read the book and don't want any spoilers STOP READING NOW! If you HAVE seen the movie, some of what I am about to say will explain some of the differences between the book and the movie and you may end up understanding it a bit more.
Happy Hunger Games!
First of all, I wasn't really impressed with the whole "handheld camera" aspect of the first few minutes. I don't even get motion sick and it made me dizzy! Overall though, I think they did a decent job. Biggest annoyance with the Reaping scene? They didn't show Haymitch falling off the stage! That would have been an awesome way to introduce Haymitch to us, just like in the book! Something I am confused about is the mockingjay pin!!!!!!! WHY did they have to change where she got it? And why did they make it be hidden and contraband in the arena? I mean I get why they changed it so that Prim gave it to her so I guess that makes more sense than what happened in the book. (for those who haven't read the book the mayor of Disctrict 12's daughter, Madge, who is in Katniss' grade at school, visits her after the reaping and gives it to her. They aren't really close friends so Katniss is a little puzzled why she came to see her off and give her the pin. It's explained more in Catching Fire what the origin and meaning of the pin was) I didn't like how they didn't explain about the tesserae and why Gale's name was in the reaping 42 times. I think it would have done a better job of explaining exactly how poor Katniss and Gale's families are. The flashbacks with Peeta and the bread didn't do it. Had I not read the book, I would have been wondering why Katniss was just sitting outside in the rain.
I also wish they would have delved more in to Katniss and Peeta's strategy in the training center. Again, for those who haven't read the book, after the Tribute Parade when Peeta and Katniss held hands, Haymitch realizes how much that affected the Capitol spectators. He tells them to basically stick like glue to each other and to not show off their strengths in front of the other Tributes, to wait until their private sessions with the Gamemakers. Which brings me to my next point. Obviously I knew they weren't going to leave out Katniss shooting the apple, but there is a really funny part in there where one of the Gamemakers is so shocked by it that he falls backwards into the punch bowl. Would have been very funny to watch at least! (there I go off on a tangent!) OK so back to my point about Katniss and Peet supposed to be sticking to each other like glue. This was important in the book because during the training process they started becoming friends and teammates in the book instead of enemies, and that leaves Katniss very confused as to how she should think of him. Should she trust him or is his friendliness towards her all an act? That especially comes in to play in the arena when she realizes he has become part of the Careers' Alliance. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself! I think that changing their training method of sticking together really kind of ruined part of the movie. Not seeing how close they became while training together, you don't realize what a slap in the face it was to Katniss when Peeta asked to train separately the last day after their scores were posted. Or how hurt she really was when she saw Peeta running with the Careers.
Also my BFF (who actually read the book! After I convinced her to read The Help before seeing the movie, she finally believes me that the books are always better and is now hooked on The Hunger Games!) pointed out that they should have had Katniss narrate the movie, so that we could "hear" what she was thinking. There were a lot of parts where if you hadn't read the book you really didn't know exactly what was going on. Like how when she blew up the food she lost her hearing in her left ear. Oh and the notes that Haymitch sent with the sponsor gifts? Didn't happen, Katniss figured it out on her own. Minor issue, but still kind of annoying. Ooooo speaking of the gifts! They totally left out when she received a loaf of bread from District 11 as a thank you for Rue's "memorial service". See, each District has their own distinctive style and type of bread, so that was how she knew it was from them. It was also a big deal because it was the first time that a District sent a gift to a Tribute not their own. Also the scene showing District 11 saluting Katniss didn't happen until Catching Fire.
Lastly, I did NOT like the way they ended the movie. The way it ended, the viewer had no idea how upset Peeta was with Katniss after he realized that it was all an act for them to win the Games. And the scene with Haymitch telling Katniss how much trouble she is in with Snow and the Capitol? That actually happens in the 2nd book, and it's not even CLOSE to how it actually went down! They already ruined a really awesome scene in the 2nd book!
All in all, I think they did a decent job with the movie. They stayed pretty true to it. I wish they would have expanded on and explained Katniss and Gale's history and relationship a little bit more. The parts with Rue were a little disappointing, because they should have explained that Rue reminded Katniss of Prim and that was why she was so drawn to her and felt such a need to protect her. But overall it was a great movie and I am really looking forward to when Catching Fire comes out in November 2013!
May the odds be ever in your favor,
Tomorrow I should be getting my Hunger Games nail polish, so I will have a swatch post to show you the colors soon! I'm so excited!!