Saw “The Hunger Games” Sunday afternoon with a girlfriend who convinced me to read the book and another friend who is also reading the books and tweeting my rant with her as we read together. A movie I have been anticipating waiting for since I got hooked on the books last month.
I sat in the movie theater expecting all the scenes that I have read and seen on the trailer with no major emotional reaction but random surprises here and there. In short, to basically see how the movie version of the book would play out on the big screen.
So when the pivotal scene of the reaping was showing; regardless of how many times I have seen the trailer and know what is going to happen next; I was surprised that I actually cried! Seeing Prim’s (Willow Shield) performance when Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take Prim’s place and Katniss shock but keeping strong expression. Prim wanting to get to Katniss but was stopped by Peacekeepers where after a few moments was finally being picked up by Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to be remove from the scene was beyond the performances I expected. So much emotions came out from that reaping scene that I felt that I was there with them. Wow! That was some feeling.
Throughout the movie there were some thumbs-up touches in the movie that were not in the book that I enjoyed and glad they included:
- The conversation between President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and Seneca (Wes Bentley) about the games.
- Foxface (Jacqueline Emerson) and Katniss bump into each other at the Cornucopia and instead of fighting they flee to find safer ground.
- Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) working to get sponsors for his tributes and convincing the star-crossed lovers idea.
- Gale’s reaction to cave scene.
- The rebellion starting in District 11 (although this was described in book 2, “Catching Fire”).
- Seneca death. The berries that kept the two tributes winners.
Throughout the book there were some details that were left out from the book that could have made the moments more intense and dramatic. A few of examples that come to mind:
- When Gale was saying bye in the book he started to say Katnis, I….(which we can assume he was going to say “I love you”) where we can see Gale’s feelings towards Katniss.
- During the cave scene, in the book when Peeta asks Katniss not to go to the Feast they should have also included how Katniss drugged Peeta so he would not wake up while she went to the Feast to get the backpack of necessities that Peeta needed to stay alive.
- The code of making a noise to one another used by Peeta and Katniss to make sure they were ok while they were separated. In the movie it just showed Katniss running to Peeta and getting mad at him and then finding out he killed Foxface.
- At the end of the movie, make it more clear that the Star-Crossed Lovers was an act to keep both Peeta and Katniss alive and to see more of Peeta’s reaction to that act.
- For Katniss and Peeta to have the berries in the mouth and then when they announced two winners they spit it out.
- Use more of the words from the book on the Rules of the Games. The reasoning they used in the movie made it sound (forced?) like the Tributes ran the show more (although they did in a certain sense).
The only negative I would have to say is the love triangle. I felt that there was more chemistry between Gale and Katniss than with Peeta and Katniss when there should have been a good amount from both sides. The cave scene when Peeta and Katniss kiss was not all that great and felt at the end when they were about to eat Nightlocks together was ok. I was not really feeling the dramatic effect of those scenes.
Overall I enjoyed the movie regardless of those details. I do highly recommend reading the books before watching the movie or if you have already seen to the movie I highly recommend reading the books to get the full affect of the story being told.
The second book, “Catching Fire” is scheduled to be out in theaters in November 2013. I definitely cannot wait to see how that will turn out in the big screen. Looking forward to seeing who will be cast as the past victors from previous games and how the story will play out.