The Hunger Games Movie

I, like many others, braved an incredibly crowded movie theater to watch The Hunger Games this weekend  Here’s my rundown of the experience.

The movie did these things really well:

  • Illustrating the material differences between the Capitol and District 12.  The Capitol was as opulent and over-the-top and District 12 was as poor and coal-mining as I had imagined when reading the book.  I think this is one of those points that is far easier to show in pictures than in words.
  • Showing the manipulation of the Games by the Officials and government.  The war room where they conjured up fires, muttations, and more was a really great way to demonstrate both how the Games were a television show manufactured for entertainment and how the government had a direct role in manipulating the tributes into using violence against one another.
  • Rue’s death.  I was sobbing at this point of both the book and the movie and I think the movie did an excellent job portraying one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the book.
  • Effie Trinket.  She was a surprising source of comic relief throughout the early part of the film and in the books she annoyed me.  It was really necessary to have her moments of lightness in a movie that was so dark and heavy.

What the movie did not do so well:

  • The romance.  I will say that it must have been very difficult to try to show Katniss’s complex feelings for Peeta.  However, they didn’t do a very convincing job on the romance front at all.  I did not get the impression that Katniss was faking it with Peeta.  In fact, I didn’t feel like Peeta was even that into Katniss.  The overall chemistry between Katniss and Peeta fell flat, for sure.  I didn’t walk away rooting for them to work it out, like I did in the book.
  • The girl on fire dresses.  Ok, I admit that going into this movie I knew I would probably be disappointed by the special effects for these dresses because fake fire is notoriously bad.  This movie proved no exception.  Those dresses are best left for the imagination, I think.

Some side notes:

  • My husband refused to believe me that this movie was hyped to the nines and that even on Sunday at 10am, in the Bible Belt it would be crowded.  We ended up sitting three rows from the front and his sore neck will be like me constantly whispering in his ear “I told you so.”
  • Some of the scenes were nauseating.  Especially the tracker-jacker hallucinations.  If I had wanted to pay money to feel nauseated, I’d have bought a plane ticket or a ticket to Six Flags.
  • I joked to my husband that we needed to make some Team Peeta shirts for the movie. He, just to be contrary, claims he is Team Snow and tells me not to hate the player, hate the Games.
  • Gale is hotter than Peeta.  I was all Peeta all the way in the books.  But Gale’s good looks might change my mind where the movies are concerned.
  • I lent my copy of The Hunger Games to my sister.  So excited to convert her!
  • Overall, I liked the movie and thought it represented the book pretty well.  The pacing was a bit problematic, but that’s why the book is always better than the movie 🙂

So, tell me, how was your movie-going experience?  What did you like/dislike about the movie?