Hunger Games Movie Review

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May the odds be ever in your favor…

To those who still do not know, the Hunger Games trilogy is one of my most favorite YA (young adult) books. I think that Suzanne Collins is brilliant for having the ability to combine science fiction and a love story in a YA book.

The plot is set in “Panem”, the future North America which consist of 12 districts. Yearly, a girl and a boy from each district ages 12 to 18 participate in what they call “Hunger Games” wherein these 12 participants fight to their death and only one comes out alive. Hunger Games started when a rebellion was done by the people of Panem several years before that. The Hunger Games is done each year to remind the people of the rebellion they have done. This somewhat reminds the people that no matter what they do, they are still controlled by the government and their children which is the future of Panem can never be saved as long as they do not abide by what the government tells them. To make it even worse, the entire Hunger Games is televised 24/7 to the entirety of Panem (somewhat like the Big Brother House).

These were all ended by the 74th Hunger Games.

Katniss Everdeen is from district 12. Unlike any other girl, she knows how to hunt for food and stands as a “father figure” to her family eversince her father died in a mining accident. She uses her home made bow and arrow to hunt for food or sell them at the “black market” since hunting is not allowed by the government. At the time of the 74th Hunger Games, she was 16 years old and unlike any other teenage girl in her district, she did not fear getting her name picked out as a “tribute” to the Hunger Games. Rather, she feared that the name of her sister who just turned 12, “PrimRose Everdeen’s” name will get picked out. Her sister will surely die in that arena. Prim, is not like her. She doesn’t even know how to take care of herself yet and their mother will surely get more depressed if Prim’s name will get picked. Alongside, her bestfriend Gale, just turned 18 which means that it is his last year to have his name in the “bowl” (the bowl is where the names 12 to 18 year old girls are picked from). Incidentally, Gale has been asking Katniss to run away. To run away from everything – from the misery of being controlled by the government and from the hardship they have everyday for having “nothing”.

They never expected it, but Prim’s name was picked out as one of the tributes. Katniss, out of her love for her sister volunteered in her place which has never been done before. Although Gale, as much as he would hate seeing Katniss die in that arena could not do anything. He could only hope that Katniss’ hunting skills is enough to get her out alive.

Peeta Mellark was picked out as the male tribute. Peeta is very different from Katniss. He is the son of a baker. He doesn’t know anything about hunting or fighting. If you can consider being a good person and a talented painter enough to keep one alive, then he probably would. Then again, he, himself knew he would not survive it. Even his own mother rooted for Katniss, not him.

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(Here is a link to my book review of the Hunger Games: https://akasha824.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/the-hunger-games-%e2%80%93-book-one-book-review/)

I never thought that I would, but I loved the movie. I didn’t expect much which is also why I wasn’t disappointed that much about it, I guess but I can tell you that I want to see it again. Katniss came out as a very strong person in terms of her physical and mental ability which is what I always thought of her in the first book. Jennifer Lawrence did a very good job. She dyed her hair and changed her skin color for this movie just to really look like Katniss in the book. Now, I mentioned, she came out strong which was what I always thought of her in the “first book” (Hunger Games). I said that because in the second book (Catching Fire), I felt like she relied more on Peeta because she was already developing her feelings for him and in the third book (MockingJay), she was just depressed for what everything turned out to be. She thought life would get better but everything just got worse.

Moving back, I felt that most of the roles were well played. Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth really looked the part as well. Eventhough he had very few lines in this movie, he really looked like he was the actual person from the book itself – in the book, Katniss and Gale was described as being somewhat identical. Both of them had dark hair, olive skin, gray eyes and even had the same interest. Almost like twins. Just a note to those who have not read the book though (most especially to the people who were behind me at the movie house and their never ending comments while watching. Yes, they were talking out loud while they were watching like they were the only people there), Gale is NOT Katniss “boyfriend”. Although as you can clearly see in the movie and feel in the book that they have feelings for each other, they are not together. Gale is Katniss’ bestfriend. In the book, the story of how they met and how they feel about (or atleast on Katniss part) was described thoroughly.

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Haymitcha along with the other characters Seneca, Ceasar, Effie, etc. were all how I pictured them to be. Colorful and yes, weird. Oh, and Cinna, you’d be surprised – was played by Lenny Kravitz. I didn’t recognize him at first, but yes, it is him!

Although, there were two main characters that I didn’t like that much. I felt like the actors that portrayed them didn’t given “enough” justice to the role. The first one would be Donald Sutherland who played President Snow. I always thought of him as a strongwilled and “scary person”. Also, somewhat gay (note, gay as a sexual preference and not “happy” gay). In the movie Donald Sutherland made President Snow soft and a bit friendly looking. I hope in the next movies, they could do something about that. In the book President Snow looked a bit weird and whenever he’s around, the atmosphere would feel like “acrid”. In the movie he just looked like a friendly old man.

The second character would be Peeta. Josh Hutcherson’s acting actually made him look and feel like the actual Peeta from the book. But he did not look the part (the actor who played Cato did – sorry Josh Hutcherson fans…). Well, his face maybe, but the built was not. In the movie Peeta was shorter than Katniss and in the book it made it feel like he was a lot taller. Aside from being a people person and being a good baker, Peeta can also hurl sacks of flour. Now, how can he do that when he looks smaller then Katniss? I always pictured Peeta to be taller than Katniss. Not as goodlooking or as tall and “manly” as Gale in the book but at the very least TALLER THAN HIS LEADING LADY. Oh, did I forget to mention that he was strong? – Which was his “actual” advantage against the other tributes. He just didn’t know how to use his strength.

Overall though, I loved the movie. The chemistry between Katniss and Peeta would have been so much better though if he was taller then her.

Also, in the book, the wound that Peeta got infected his leg. At the end of the Hunger Games he was treated for it but they needed to amputate it for it was so infected, almost rotting because it was left untreated for so long. In the movie, they didn’t include that part. In the second and third book, his leg was already artificial but let’s see with the next movies.

Just some notes, I really don’t favor how people say that this is the next Twilight movie. Like any other girl I was obsessed with it for a while (and wanted Edward or Jacob to marry me). Unlike Twilight, the Hunger Games was focused more on Panem and the rebellion while having a love story in the middle of it all while Twilight was really just focused on the love triangle part. I guess people couldn’t help but compare because of the Peeta-Katniss-Gale love triangle but if you read all three books (Hunger Games, Catching Fire and MockingJay), it’s more than that. It was how Katniss and his relationship with Peeta caused a rebellion for democracy, the cruelties of the government of the Capitol as well as the fight for power. I didn’t feel that they explored that more in the movie but I guess it helps that the love story part will get more people to watch the movie.

Here are some spoilers though if you plan to watch the two more movies that are supposed to follow. In the second book, Peeta and Katniss will go back to the arena and they will continue to “act out” like starcrossed lovers to survive. There will be a mention of Katniss being pregnant as well. On the last book, one of the boys, that would either be Peeta or Gale will get his heartbroken alongside a war which Katniss will fight as a soldier.

If you loved the first installment of the Hunger Games movie, I deeply suggest that you read the three books. There are a lot of parts that will help you understand it more which couldn’t be included in the movie . Let me give you an idea. The MockingJay pin – in the movie, Katniss wanted to buy that in the market which was given to her for free. She then gave the pin to Prim as a sign of protection before she was picked out and then Prim returned it to her. In the book, that pin was given to her by the mayor’s daughter because she believed in Katniss. That played a big part to Katniss’ drive to survive because in the end, she found out that the Mayor’s family, along with the girl who gave her the pin were all killed by the Capitol.

All in all, I still loved the movie, there are just some parts that I wanted to adjust as well as the actors. I just really wanted Peeta to be taller than Katniss. Oh well, that couldn’t be helped. Shallow of me, I know but that was my idea of him.

I give it an eight out of ten stars and is recommended for all ages.

Here is a link to Wikipedia for the Hunger Games: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunger_Games

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~ by akasha824 on March 26, 2012.

2 Responses to “Hunger Games Movie Review”

  1. Here is my take on the movie if your interested.

    http://mostrecentlywatched.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/thehungergames/

  2. thank you very much. i haven’t reviewed my blog for the longest time and i apologize if i wasn’t able to comment in like 365 days! anyways, thanks. much appreciated.

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