Monday, March 26, 2012

Movie Monday: The Hunger Games

(Please read The Hunger Games or watch The Hunger Games film before continuing! I don't want to ruin the AMAZING-ness that is the Hunger Games for anyone.)

First off, I KNOW that it's been crazy long since I've written a blog post. I know it, & you know it, so let's just move on now shall we...


As many of you know, I am a HUGE Hunger Games Series fan. I did a Monthly Favorites video quite a few months ago talking about how I read the entire series in less than a week. The books are AMAZING, so why wouldn't I be excited for the movie too right?!

I went to a midnight showing of The Hunger Games on Friday the 23rd, like many other Hunger Games fans did. I was not one of the people who dressed up like Katniss, dressed head to toe in Hunger Games merchandise from Hot Topic, or waited in line since 2pm in the afternoon. I did; however, have my hair french braided down the back of my head onto the center of my back. (It was the very least I could do. haha)

I was pleasantly surprised with the way the film turned out. There was a lot of ideas added and scenes portrayed differently than what was included within the book. For example, Gale's reactions to Peeta & Katniss kisses, interactions between President Snow & Seneca Crane, & foreshadowing of the uprisings against the Capitol.

I did like the movie overall, but I do still believe that if you had not read the books, you will enjoy the movie much more. There were quite a few important details that were left unsaid, forcing the viewer to think about the different situations and figure out the "how and why" on their own.

Being one of the viewers who read the series before watching the film, I found many of my friends asking me questions trying to understand certain parts of the movie. My only way to answer them was to simply "READ THE BOOK!"

As good as the movie turned out, I still cannot compare it to how much I am IN LOVE with the books. There were a lot of themes and relationships between characters that I felt were extremely under-developed. When reading, I could feel and imagine the relationships between the characters so well. Whereas in the movie, it was up to the viewer to assume. 

I KNOW that every aspect of the book isn't expected to be within the movie, but there were quite a few entities that I wish were included with the movie, such as:

Food/Hunger is the main underlying theme of The Hunger Games. I feel there is more reasoning  why the book titled "The Hunger Games". Being hungry and obtaining food for survival was one of the most important things in Katniss's life. She was always concerned about it. Making sure that she and her sister, Prim, were well fed. Almost dying of starvation while her mom was depressed. Being forever in debt to Peeta for giving her the loaf of bread, that ultimately saved her life. Katniss entering her name numerous times in the Reaping to give her family extra grain. The need for food, so her family would not go hungry was the main reason why Katniss learned to hunt. Being skilled at archery may have well saved her life in the games. 

Compared to the other tributes who came from more wealthy districts, Katniss had never had a meal simply placed upon her dinner table. She always had to work hard and fight for her meals. The tributes from Districts 1 & 2 don't realize how much of a luxury it is to have a steady food supply. In the book, Katniss hates the way these tributes view food. Food has always been a luxury for her. The beautifully displayed, flavorful, & warm cooked meals Katniss receives while in the Capitol are just that. A luxury that she knows will disappear once she enters the arena. Every morsel of food given to Katniss is so eloquently depicted in the book. My mouth would water thinking about the Lamb Stew with Plums. 

Collins did an AMAZING job in the books showing the relationships Katniss builds. I know how difficult it may be to portray this in a movie, but I feel Katniss's relationships with everyone was left extremely under-developed. 

HAYMITCH: In the book, Haymitch forces Katniss to learn from being in the arena. He points out her faults and forces her to think. In the book, Haymitch refuses to give Katniss water, because she is closer than she thinks. She nearly faints from dehydration. Katniss soon realizes that she and Haymitch think alike, allowing herself to act in the manner that will get her sponsors and gifts to keep her alive in the arena.

PEETA: The chapters in the book involving Katniss and Peeta in the cave were my absolute favorite part. The way it was portrayed in the film did not do those chapters justice. The relationship between Katniss and Peeta needed so much more. It is said that Peeta loves Katniss, but it's the interaction in the cave that brings a whole new light to their relationship. Peeta nearly dying in the cave; Katniss nursing him back to health. The many kisses between the two that reward them with a feast. The stories that were shared brought them closer than either of them could imagine. The days the spent together in the arena working as a team gave me hope for Katniss and Peeta. Katniss and Peeta were on the verge of death at the end of the games. Peeta was supposed to lose his leg from blood poisoning, but somehow in the movie, he was able to run by himself away from the dogs. It was said that Peeta loves Katniss, and the way the relationship was portrayed in the book made it seem like Katniss may feel the same way too. Only to have Peeta's hopes & heart crushed in the end. 

Other scenes were changed and interactions altered, which made me only want to re-read the book to satisfy what I wish they would have included within the movie.

How did you feel about the movie? Any thoughts to add?

Denise Joyce