Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.
I attempted to read the books a little while ago to try to understand the hype surrounding this series. While I can see the draw for dystopian novels, I’ve never really been able to dive into them like most people. Not for lack of trying, I tried reading this book, and eventually settled for listening to the audio book. It was a good book, but I felt a bit bad for not getting immediately sucked into it.
Then, I thought “Well, you felt the same way about Harry Potter, a long time ago, maybe this will be the same.” So, after borrowing the movie from a friend, I finally sat down to watch it.
It didn’t work out the same way as Harry Potter.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie was compelling and heart wrenching at some points, but I still couldn’t pull myself to become more invested in it than I was for the full run time. I found myself more invested in the sibling relationship between Prim and Katniss or Rue and Katniss, than the romantic relationship between Katniss and Peeta. For me, that’s huge. I usually glomp onto the first romantic pairing I see and go down with that ship.
Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson had a decent amount of chemistry, but it felt a bit too forced for me. Individually, they had some great performances. I actually really enjoy watching movies with Josh Hutcherson, I thought he did a great job when he was filmed in the few alone scenes. Jennifer, being the main character, really carried the movie. I know a lot of hardcore fans had reservations about her playing Katniss, but I think she did great. She showed just the right amount of vulnerability with her strength to make it believable. Though I expected there to be more (just judging from the trailers), I still felt they were pushing the Gale/Katniss/Peeta triangle a bit too much, I would have rather seen Prim’s response to Katniss making her first kill, than Gale’s response to Peeta and Katniss kissing.
The cinematography was fantastic. Really the overall production was great. The special effects weren’t too cheesy when it came to the flames for their costumes, and the make up for the death and destruction of the tributes (not to mention Effie’s extensive wardrobe) was spot on. Everything fit into place perfectly in the visual sense.
Have you seen the Hunger Games? What did you think? Had you read the book before?