In the run up to Mockingjay I wanted to talk about one of the Big 3 that started it all. I’ll get around to covering Harry Potter and Twilight (ha) eventually, but I needed to talk about The Hunger Games franchise before the first part of Mockingjay is released. The Hunger Games is actually what made me start book blogging, so it holds a special place in my heart. The Hunger Games was my first ever (awful) book review, and while I quit book blogging before I really started after posting it, I did come back a few months later and restarted. And, well, here I am.
THIS. MOVIE. I think everyone who has read the books agrees that The Hunger Games is a pretty great adaptation in terms of likeness. I freakin’ love it, and while of course there are people who aren’t fans, the majority of the fanbase agrees that it’s a really good film. Of course, there is room for improvement, and I would have changed a few things and included a few others, but when I went to see this in the cinema with my mum, we both came out like SDHFLSHGKJSHGK.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t very attached to Katniss in the movie compared to how I was in the books. Of course I felt a certain level of attachment to her because I read the books first, but in the movie she doesn’t have the same pull, in my opinion. I think it’s probably because we’re not inside her head this time, and it’s hard to tell what’s going on under the surface. I did, however, cheer her on and I loved her determination to keep herself and Peeta alive, and obviously Prim *sobs*
I didn’t love Haymitch or Cinna all that much in the first book, but OH MY GOD the movie really brings them to life. Seeing them on screen was the best thing ever. I could probably watch a movie about each of their lives. As for the others, I wish we had seen more of Prim and also their mother, because they were so important to Katniss. Also, I’m a huge Book!Gale fan but in the movie he just didn’t have the same appeal, unfortunately. Peeta stays pretty true to his book character, in that he’s as boring as ever.
Ha. HAHAHA. Okay, so let’s get it out there: I’m peeved that they cast a white/pale-skinned actress in the main role. In the books, Katniss is described as having olive skin and straight black hair, and the “olive skin” part means that Katniss has darker skin (think Mediterranean, Latin America, Middle Eastern, or Indian) than Jennifer Lawrence. I personally imagined Katniss to look somewhat Middle Eastern, and I know that lots of other fans of the books would not have cast a white actress to play the lead. Of course, “olive skin” can apply to white people too, but considering the circumstances and the themes that I think (hope) Collins was going for when she wrote the books, Katniss is meant to be a WOC. Whitewashing is an unwarrantable problem in Hollywood, and it saddens me that one of my favourite series suffered from it. I think JLaw is a good actress, though, so I was happy with her portrayal aside from her appearance, which she can’t do anything about.
Moving on, the casting for Gale was off. I didn’t like Hemsworth at all in this movie (don’t kill me) because I thought his acting was really wooden. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta was ok, but since I don’t like the character it was hard to warm up to him.
BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT AMANDLA STENBERG AS RUE WHO WAS THE BEST THING EVER. Amandla was one of my favourite things about the movie because she played Rue flawlessly, and I think she is so talented for being so young. I just wanted to smoosh her whenever she was onscreen.
I can’t think of one moment where I was bored or wanting the movie to hurry the feck up. I prefer TV shows to movies because I tend to get bored during movies just after the one hour point, but The Hunger Games had me captivated all the way through. I couldn’t wait to see the rest of the scenes come to life, and the movie is really thrilling.
Obviously, I am mostly thrilled by how The Hunger Games was adapted, and how it managed to draw in so many new fans. It has to be awesome if it made people read the books, right? Wait, no, scratch that because TWILIGHT. But still.
A few things could have been improved upon, like certain casting choices, but overall I think The Hunger Games is a pretty great adaptation of one of my favourite books.
- Rue! RUE. RUUUUEEEEE!
- The start of the rebellion when everyone starts to riot because SHIVERS.
- THE DISTRICT 12 SIGN ERMEHGERD HELP *lifts hand*
- Everything that happened in the arena because it was awesome
- A lot of the casting choices
- Peeta and Katniss remain unshippable (don’t kill me, please)
- The damn shaky cam which rattled my brain forever
in a gif