I’m sure you’ve heard much discussion over “Team Peeta” and “Team Gale” and the phrase “the girl on fire” has been tossed around a lot. That’s right, now the literature phenomenon known as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins has been packaged into a conveniently condensed movie. Now, I only wish I could say I enjoyed it….
The cast is rather impressive, with Jennifer Lawrence starring as Katniss, Josh Hutchinson as Peeta, and Liam Hensworth as Gale. In the book, Katniss lives in the small, poor district twelve, which is under the merciless control of the Capitol. Although she may be unhappy a lot of the time, in the book Katniss does have moments where she isn’t quiet or moody. In the movie, however, Jennifer Lawrence depicts her as a silent, sullen girl who lacks the ability to feel any emotions but sadness or rage. Depicting his character as a soft-spoken boy with no hope to win, Josh was far closer to his character. The love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale was very under-emphasized in the movie, more like a tiny detail than an essential part of the plot, as it is represented in the book.
As I mentioned before, the Capitol is the cruel ruler over all of the districts (twelve in total). Years ago, the districts tried to revolt, but failed, and ever since the capitol has held a tournament in which twenty-four children, two from each district, are placed in an arena. Killing everyone else is the object of the game, as well as avoiding the perils placed around you by the Gamemakers. Selected, Katniss and Peeta are sent to the capitol to fight. This plot is relatively grim, but is fast-paced and is filled with surprises that shock and startle any viewer. In the book, several sweet scenes between Katniss and Peeta lighten the mood a little. In the movie, the director omitted some of my favorite parts, just for the sake of time. This leads to a darker movie, which I though was slightly depressing. I think that the parts he kept weren’t all necessary, and parts such as the sleeping medicine scene and characters such as her beauty team, are far more important to the overall quality of the movie than the multiple shots of her hunting in the woods, and walking in search of water, and sleeping in a tree.
In the Capitol, the scenery astonishes, with lots of outlandish sleek chrome elements with pops of bright, feathery color in the costumes of the residents. This is hardly like how the capitol is described in the book, but I feel that the director did a better job here in creating an extremely interesting setting that leaves the audience carefully examining all the quirky details in each scene. This was probably what the director did best.
I think that this movie will be most enjoyed by those who haven’t read the book, because for me, it came nowhere close to the extremely high expectations I had due to such a wonderful book. By itself, I thought this was a good, if not great movie, but for those who read and loved the book as much as I did, be prepared for a letdown.