Last night I went to see the Midnight Premier of The Hunger Games. It was a very anticipated movie, not only by me and my friends, but by critics and reviews alike.
If you haven't seen the movie or read the books, there are *SPOILERS* from this point on.
I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. I was tempted to give it 3.5, but there were some scenes that redeemed it.
The movie starts out, unlike the book, with an interview between Seneca and Cesear. I liked this change because it gave the movie a more "real" feel. It didn't seem as if you were watching just another movie, you were plopped right in the middle of the story and you hit the ground running.
One thing that was a major difference is that the movie isn't in Katniss' P.O.V. the whole time like it is in the book. It would've been extremely difficult for director Gary Ross to have stayed true to the book as many things in the book are simply her own thoughts. He was able to skip back and forth through the arena to the Game Makers HQ, to show you what was going on behind the scenes. Plus it gives the Capitol more depth and a more "foreboding" feeling.
There were some little things that they didn't stay true to from the book such as:
- Madge (Character from the book) being cut out completely. This is understanding because with only 143 minutes in the movie, character development would be difficult if they had to do some back story on her, which would've been somewhat useless.
- Katniss' Prep Team, you glimpse them once during her makeover but that's it.
- Gale saying goodbye. In the end of the scene from the book it cuts off with him saying "Katniss, remember I.." and the peacekeeper drag him away. I mean, it could've been anything! He could be saying "Katniss, remember I LOVE YOU!" or "Katniss, remember I forgot to return your Snuggie, remind me when you get back okay?"
- The Muttations. (Mutts) The book describes them as "wolf like creatures" and they have surprisingly human traits *SPOILER* such as the eyes from the fallen tributes. But in the movie they are more like giant Pit Bulls
- The death over the backpack Katniss was going for in the opening Cornucopia scene, *SPOILER* where the boy was reaching for it just as she was, then was killed by Clove.
- There was a LOT of water. In the book the fact that there was little water was stressed. But in the movie there seems to be an abundance.
- Katniss drugging Peeta. The whole scene with her giving him the sleeping medicine was cut out. Slightly disappointed.
- Order of deaths. Varied from the book, which doesn't matter much, but surprised me.
- Not something that was cut out of the movie, but for the Tribute parade, the fire effects were pretty shoddy and the flaming cape didn't give anything special to the costume.
Some of the things they did add which I LOVED were *SPOILERS* :
- Right after the Cornucopia scene, when they first enter the Arena, Katniss starts running in the woods. In the movie they add where she runs straight into Fox Face and there's an intense moment of them looking back and forth before they both run off.
- In the training center, there's a scene where Cato and another tribute start arguing about his missing knife and wondering where it is. Then you see Rue up in the rafters holding it. :)
- Seneca's death. It was perfect. (Wow, that sounds gruesome, but just the way it was portrayed was great)
- In the scene where Rue dies, they cut to another scene of district 11 giving Katniss the 3 finger salute back, plus a few other things. I was sobbing during this scene and it was probably my favorite in the whole movie. This is the scene that made me bump it up to 4 stars instead of 3.5. Phenomenal.
If anyone knows me they know I DON'T cry during movies. I have only cried while watching Marley and Me and that was only because a month before we had our dog put down. During the Reaping scene I had tears in my eyes and in Rue's scene like I said before I was sobbing.
The only thing that I wasn't very happy about was with the characters they did keep, and didn't cut out there was a lack of development. There didn't seem to be much dialogue in the movie (it could be the fact that it was 2 am and I was tired though) so what I thought to be very pivotal scenes from the book were cut out. This includes many conversations between Katniss and Peeta in and out of the Arena, which resulted in something that seemed almost shallow in their relationship.
I want to go see the movie again when I'm not just barely awake and I'd definitely recommend you going and seeing it if you read and loved the books or just love a good action movie. Was it as good as the book? No. (Is it ever?) But please don't let that discourage you from seeing it!
May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor