I finally saw The Hunger Games on Saturday night. I thought it was very very good. I came out of the cinema calling it ‘amazing’ and now I’ve had time to think about it, there are a couple of things that were missed out or didn’t quite work. Even so, this is the closest adaptation of a book I have ever seen and I am really impressed. It’s such a relief to be saying that! I’m a huge fan of the book and when I first heard it would be a film I was gutted because I could only see it being ruined. I can’t really believe that that didn’t happen to be honest!
First off, Jennifer Lawrence. Wow. She was the perfect Katniss and I loved her performance so much. She is able to portray so much in a look and really got the complexity of Katniss’ emotions. Her friendship with Rue was spot on. I don’t really feel able to judge Liam Hemsworth as he was in it so little, I hope he’s in the next one more as he’s one of my favourite characters (and yes I always shipped Katniss/Gale!). Josh Hutcherson as Peeta was really great too, not how I imagined but he was a really good Peeta and matched up to Jennifer really well. I particularly loved the speech before the games where he admits how he knows he can never win and his mother thinks Katniss will win for District 12. The rest of the actors were so well cast. I particularly liked Seneca Crane (His beard was awesome. He’s a good actor too though…).
The main thing that annoyed me was the fact that they followed the book so so closely but then didn’t have Peeta finding out that Katniss was acting when it came to their romance. I know this allows the reveal to be in the next film but I just remember that that exact scene was what made me read the next book! It was so tragic and I didn’t know how the two of them would get past that, hence I bought the next book.
I thought the portrayal of District 12 was really effective because I had never really imagined it looking so impoverished but that really brought home the contrast between it and the Capitol. I’d love to know what people think who haven’t read the book because I don’t really feel able to judge how well it told the story to newcomers. I really am just reviewing this from the point of view of a fan and someone who is interested in adaptations.
I’m looking forward to seeing the film again sometime next week so I can spot all the things I may have missed. But on the whole, I really did love it!