Once upon a time, I did not think much about The Hunger Games. Then I finally read the books and the story got stuck in my head.
Before reading this series, I listened to all the hype and feared they were a repeat of Twilight. No offense Twilight lovers. I did read the first two books. I’m a reader and had to see for myself what all the vampire love was about. If I were still sixteen, I may have been head over heels in love with the Twilight series, but in my stage of life, I could not get beyond the second book. That’s just me. Obviously many, many people are fans.
The Hunger Games is completely different. For about two weeks, I dreamed of the Games every night. Crazy right?
I bought the series a few weeks ago when my husband was out-of-town for about two weeks. I figured I needed something to keep me busy, to pass the days until my hubby came home. Expectations were low, and I was pleasantly pleased with the books. It’s the story line that gets me. Maybe it’s just my overactive imagination, but I can see a world where a self-indulging class of people, the Capitol, rule their part of the world through fear and manipulation. I can transport myself into a world where everything needed for life and sustenance comes through the government. When you put yourself in that place, The Hunger Games don’t seem like such a stretch anymore. The United States and all of North America could indeed become Panem if the circumstances were right.
The premise of the book is genius.
It could be us, our children who must fight for their very lives, forced to kill others in an arena while people watch for entertainment. It’s gruesome and inhumane. It’s completely believable.
After I read the books, I gave them to my son to read. He’s twelve, but he was practically born a teenager and has only aged since birth. They are written for teens and I would not recommend either the books or movie to younger children. They are very violent, but we’ve had the best conversations about the story.
We left for the movies Friday night with high expectations, maybe too high. I’ll try to give you my review of the movie without any spoilers. I hope. If you haven’t seen the movie, maybe you want to check out now, but if you read the book, I don’t think I’ll ruin the movie for you with my comments.
What I liked:
1. The actors were terrific. The whole bunch of kids did a wonderful job. Loved Effie Trinket, Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch…they were all great.
2. Loved the costumes in the Capitol.
3. The movie did follow the book. Besides how Katniss got the Mocking-Jay pin, not too much was changed.
What I didn’t like:
1. The camera was so blasted shaky. At times, I could hardly watch. We started off the movie sitting towards the front, but about two minutes in, I had to move to the back. FringeBoy was not long behind me. I sometimes get migraines from movies that flash images on the screens and have shaky cameras and this movie was terrible for that. Maybe they saved money on production costs by using less cameras? I have no idea, but I think they could have done a better job filming it.
2. I would have loved to see more of the people in the Capitol. They had lavish costumes, but we didn’t get to see much of them.
3. If you didn’t read the book, I don’t think you could have gotten a clear sense of the story. Maybe the movie needed a narrator in parts? Maybe Katniss could have told her story while they were flashing through scenes? Not certain, but I think it needed more story. They showed very little of what life was like in the Seam. I thought the viewer could have benefited from more story.
4. Did you know Katniss was starving? That even Peeta, the baker’s son, didn’t always have enough food/nutrition? In the book, when they got on the train, the kids gorged themselves. They put on as much weight as possible because they needed it. They were starving at home. Death from malnutrition was commonplace. In the movie, I don’t recall them eating a bite on the train. They sat at the table and the camera zoomed in on some food, but that’s it.
Those are my main complaints. The movie was violent. I heard that some were surprised at how violent, but if you read the books, you expect this. Violence is a large part of the story.
My son asked me if they would make books 2 + 3 into a movie, and I said probably. I suspect this one will do well enough in the box office to warrant another. I just hope they do a better job with the cameras. Banish the shake for the love of all those with migraine, vision, and seizure problems. Please!
The Hunger Games movie was good, but nowhere near as good as the books.
What do you think?
Did you see it??
Are you planning to see it???