Let me start off by saying that I could not have been more excited for the Hunger Games movie. I blogged over the summer about how much I loved the story of the girl on fire. I bought my tickets for the midnight show when they first went on sale, we got to the movie theater at 9:30 (with dinner and cupcakes in hand) and I totally rocked a Katniss-inspired braid. All in all, my expectations were pretty high. And I am sad to report my expectations were not met.
Do not continue on if you have not seen the movie.
The movie started as expected. The book itself is half the back story/journey to the games and the other half in the games itself so I was ready for a slow start, but was excited to see how they would include all the little details of the book I loved. How DID they do it? Well, they didn't. In the book, I feel like I really got to know and understand all the characters and got a look into every moment of what Katniss's thoughts were. The movie did a horrible job at displaying any of this. I didn't get to see Katniss and Peeta enjoy the train, the food, the lavish furniture...they didn't scarf down meals or dip their bread into cocoa or anything. They didn't even have a scene of Katniss crying on the ride into the Capitol. These things may be small, but honestly they were the things I loved most about the book and I wish it could have been displayed better on screen.
The scenes leading up to the games were great - Katniss and Cinna, everyone on their spokes ready to run..all good. The cornucopia should have been gold and I pictured it WAY bigger. I also wanted more blood! I know it was PG-13, but it's a fight to the deal - gimme some gore!! Katniss escaping the fire balls was great, cutting down the hive and the hallucinations from the jackers were great - especially the scene showing how her dad died in the mine accident. That was probably my favorite part in the whole film.
What else didn't I like? The end was super rushed! All of a sudden Peeta's leg is magically healed in a day?! They spent DAYS in that cave. That is where their relationship grows..and we didn't see nearly enough of that either. Also didn't get the sense that Katniss really is unsure of her feelings for Peeta, or Gale. None of that was clear. Then, when it's down to the final 3 and the mutant dogs come out ... I just wanted them to be bigger, I wanted to be able to see the fall tribute's features in them, and I wanted to feel sad when Cato dies. It was all too quick.. In the book they spend the night shaking, waiting for those cannons to go off.. in the movie it was a 30 second wait. No build up.
Speaking of no build up - the scene where Katniss and Peeta almost eat the berries, I wanted to be on the edge of my seat seeing if they'd do it. Rushed.
Did I cry when Rue died? Yes. Would I if I had NOT read the book? No. There was no real scene showing Katniss's connection to her, as if Rue were Prim. But putting the flowers on her, the singing, the kiss on the forehead...very very well done.
There's so much more I could write, so many little tiny details that were changed or were missing. There was a lot of stuff added too - like the scenes in President Snow's rose garden, and the behind the scenes game-making of how they put the obstacles in...so fantastic! Really added to the story.
IN SUMMARY, if you haven't read the book - I think there are some parts you will be confused by because they are not explained well enough (like why Peeta was with the Career pack, it was never explained what Peeta and Haymitch's plan was all along). If you have read the book, you will likely enjoy it overall but will be annoyed by the little things you expected or wanted to see.
OVERALL rating: 3/5
Did you like the movie? What do you think was missing? What was your favorite scene? What can we expect from films 2 and 3? Comment below