I’ve started writing a blog entry as often as possible for really only one reason. I feel that this has become quite therapeutic for me and really helps me sort through my thoughts, and what ever crap I’m going through at the time. Sometimes, I have so much to say I don’t even know where to begin, other times I have nothing really at all to say, at least nothing really worth reading. Today just so happens to be one of those days. I can’t really think of much to say. It feels like an alright day. I’m thankful for waking up today and feeling alright. I feel content with things. There’s not a lot going on that I feel like reflecting on. So cheers.
I will, however, reflect, and review the movie “The Hunger Games,” Which I’m sure many of you saw last night at the midnight premier so this is a bit late. But for those of you who haven’t seen it yet…
This is going to be much less a review, and much more of a warning…
If you have read the books, prepare to be disappointed greatly. If you HAVEN’T read the books, prepare to be both disappointed AND confused.
For a quick run down of the plot… The Hunger Games is a science fiction action–drama film directed by Gary Ross and based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, and Woody Harrelson.
At an unidentified future date, the nation of Panem has risen out of the ruins of what was once known as North America. Due to an unsuccessful uprising by the districts of Panem, a raffle (known as the “reaping”) is held to choose one boy and one girl, aged 12–18, from each of the twelve districts to participate in the Hunger Games, a competition in which each contestant (known as the “tributes”), battles until only one is left. The winner receives honor, gifts, and enough food and supplies to never worry about anything ever again. The Hunger Games are a yearly reminder to the 12 districts of the Capitol’s authority, and punishment for their rebellion over 70 years ago, in which the 13th district was destroyed.
In District 12, sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) cares for her mother (Paula Malcomson) and her sister Primrose “Prim” (Willow Shields) since her father died in a mine accident when she was 11. Each year, since the age of 12, Katniss’ name has been placed in the reaping more than once. In return for taking this extra annual risk, she receives extra grain and oil for her family. In addition, Katniss has been illegally hunting for food outside the boundary fences of District 12 with her friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth), whose father died in the same mining accident.
Prim, now age 12, has her name placed in the reaping for the first time—only once—and it is unexpectedly drawn. Katniss volunteers to replace her sister in the Games. She competes against other tributes, including Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson), the male tribute from District 12, who has secretly loved Katniss since childhood and who once showed her a kindness she could never forget.
Before the Hunger Games begin, she is given a stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), and a Capitol escort, Effie (Elizabeth Banks), to help her make a good impression with potential sponsors. Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), a drunk and the only living victor from District 12, mentors both Katniss and Peeta before and during the Hunger Games. Once in the arena, Katniss must rely on her hunting skills, stealth, speed, and wits in order to survive. She also has to fight her anger for the Capitol and ‘put on a good show’ in order to receive food and aid from sponsors.
Ok, I’m not going to lie, I had hopes for this movie. It had an interesting plot, good character development, vast potential to be dynamic, multi-layered, multi-cultural, and still have an element of hope we all strive for and can relate to. From the opening credits the narration jerks us through the extremely foreign and unfamiliar world we are embarking on, force-feeding us the realities of this life they live in, that we are supposed to try to understand in 20 seconds. At the first scene, we are in a small coal-mining town, trying to understand what is going on, why everyone is in matching dresses and old 20’s style clothing, and yet there are flying ships. The confusion never eases up, as the ridiculously shattered plot progresses, and only adds to our list of questions throughout the movie. I feel the movie tries to bridge the gap between people who have read the book, and people who haven’t. I understand that every “movie adapted from book” does this, but I feel that The Hunger Games was so obviously trying to bridge this gap, because it was done quite poorly. It seemed that they chose to include certain details and focus on certain aspects of the movie that were less important and try to make them more significant in the movie, while leaving out other, very crucial details that would have made the story as a whole much stronger. The end leaves you wanting, the middle is drawn out and kind of makes you feel like you’re running around with a bunch of middle schoolers in the woods, with the occasional wake up call of someone stabbing someone, or necks breaking, which was a bit of an out of place contrast, because of the way they set it up in the movie.
Now, mind you, I have not read the book. I was, however, sitting beside three people who were very passionate about these books, and were extremely upset about this movie. I, however, went into it with an open mind and tried to understand the story and give the movie some credit. I was sorely disappointed over all.
I give this movie a 5 out of 10. Not worth paying to see in theaters. Sorry fanatics.