I have been waiting to post my thoughts on The Hunger Games movie, because I've found that as I reflect on each scene and each of the characters, I discover just how truly genius the movie is. From the phenomenal cast, to the production crew, to director Gary Ross, everyone deserves an Oscar!
Especially this girl...
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
I was completely blown away by Jennifer's performance as Katniss. She had a HUGE responsibility, being that she is the central part of the whole story. If she failed, in even the tiniest aspect, to make the fans believe that she is Katniss, the movie would have been a big flop. Thankfully, she rose to the occasion and went on to shine even brighter than I could have hoped. She is just as fierce as the character she portrays!
I don't mean to overlook the other cast members, either! They were all truly amazing. I can't think of one character that was miscast or that did not fit what I had in my head. (Okay, I do admit that I was really hoping for Wentworth Miller to play Gale, haha!) My favorite characters were Peeta (who has my heart), Haymitch, Effie, Caesar Flickerman, Cinna, Rue, and surprisingly, Seneca Crane.
The movie, despite being 2.5 hours long, was very fast-paced, especially for those who have read the book. There have been a few grumbles that "this and that" were left out, but really, you can't expect every scene from the book to make it into the movie. It would be astronomically expensive and way too long, not to mention completely unnecessary. I was very pleased with the scenes they did keep, such as Katniss reminding Prim to tuck in her "duck tail" and Peeta's snarky reply about tossing bags of flour.
One thing I really appreciated about the movie was the opportunity to see what was happening "behind the scenes" while the Games played out in the arena. Watching the 3D creation and simulation of the fireballs, the falling trees, and even the Muttations was so, so neat! (Okay, so I'm a bit of a geek.) I also enjoyed the scene where Seneca Crane was locked in the room with the poisonous berries, though it wasn't in the book. (Was I the only one disappointed that Seneca Crane died at all?! He was just a pawn of the Capitol.)
I've heard some criticisms about the shaky camera work throughout the movie, but this didn't bother me at all. I did notice the shakiness, especially during the blood-bath, but I chalked this up to the director wanting the audience to feel like they were in the Games, too; feel shaken-up, confused just like the Tributes. I am curious to see how and if this changes with the new director of Catching Fire.
Overall, I felt the movie followed the book very closely and that most of the important scenes that needed to be in the movie were there. I also loved that the movie wasn't made just for those who read the books (like the train wreck that was Atlas Shrugged). My boyfriend, Nick, came with me to the midnight show and was able to follow along perfectly, despite never having read the series.
Needless to say, I will be watching The Hunger Games again and again... and again :-) I will also be at the midnight showings for Catching Fire and Mockingjay, squealing like a true fangirl. You'll find me in the crowd, wearing my Mockingjay shirt with pride... Not specific enough?