REVIEW: The Hunger Games (Movie)
After much anticipation, it was delightful to see The Hunger Games movie succeed so brilliantly. Check back later this week for more thoughts and analysis of the film, but in the meantime you can start with the movie review. The short version: it’s a 9/10.
Of course, the movie wouldn’t have existed without the fantastic books by Suzanne Collins, but the movie rested all its success on the shoulders of one person – Jennifer Lawrence. None of it would have worked without someone brave enough to bare the emotional extremes required for the character of Katniss Everdeen. To this exceptional young woman, I offer the three-fingered salute.
Not to be forgotten, though, is the respect Gary Ross showed for the essence of his heroine’s tale and also her fans. Books are a completely different medium for conveying a story, and he had to condense the movie into what was best for the movie while respecting what drew fans to the books. For the most part he managed to do that very well.
What did you think? I’d love to hear your opinion, and thoughts on what did or didn’t work for you.
My little fangirl moments – When Prim’s mangy cat Buttercup made the cut, even if it was the briefest of appearances, I managed a little smile. Another moment came when I noticed Foxface’s red hair tied back in mini-Princess Leia buns.
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2 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Hunger Games (Movie)”
I loved “The Hunger Games” movie, too. The translation of book-to-film is extremely difficult. It’s as impossible to please everyone in a legion of rabid book fans as it is to include every scene from the printed pages in a two-and-a-half hour movie. Still, it’s obvious that Gary Ross & company worked really hard to remain true to this particular book. I think that their hard work absolutely paid off.
Something that mattered to me: this movie succeeds in “little” moments as much as with the hand-held camera work and the shining cast. A look here, a gesture there: it felt as if these accounted for as much storytelling as dialogue.
For example, in their first encounter with Haymitch, Peeta attempts to pressure their drunken “mentor” a little too hard – and suddenly gets an unkempt bare foot on his chest in response. I loved those few seconds of film because a single, simple action conveyed so much information: Haymitch, despite his disheveled appearance and careless attitude, reminded us that he had once won the Games – and showed Peeta and Katniss through his excellent reflexes that he still had skills. It effectively told the Tributes that he could be a true mentor, although he refused to be shoved into the role too quickly. He needed to work his way up to the job in his own time – reminding us that this man had already been asked to work closely with dozens of young men and women, only to watch them die. The foot was a signal that there was a lot of depth to Haymitch, and the scene was very expressive in classic show-not-tell fashion.
Isn’t that what authors strive for?
How much closer to its book-parent can a movie-child be?
I wrote my review out on my blog http://42lifeinbetween.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/hunger-games-critical-movie-review/
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