During my non-productive weekend with Mr. Dish, we finally got around to seeing “The Hunger Games” on the big screen. We would have been total nerds and seen it the weekend it debuted, but we were in New Orleans or something.
I read all three books by Suzanne Collins last year, while Mr. Dish finished the trilogy more recently… which was probably why he was better able to pick out the differences between the book and the movie. I noticed a few, but thought they were only minor changes that kept the running time down.
For all of you who haven’t been spell-bound by this young adult trilogy, here’s a synopsis from Scholastic:
“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.”
Kids killing kids??? Creepy, I know. But once you’ve been pulled into this intriguing world, it’s hard to step back until you get to the bitter end. And for as violent and as gory as the movie could have been, I thought it was tastefully done.
Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic as Katniss. She is a likable tough girl, and truly became Katniss on screen. I love her. Enough said.
In fact, I think the whole cast was on point. Elizabeth Banks was annoyingly hilarious as Effie Trinket. (“THAT is MAHOGANY!”)
You love to hate her, just as you do Effie in the book. Mr. Dish and I agreed it was refreshing to see Ms. Banks in a stand-out role, rather than in her usual rom-coms.
I thought Woody Harrelson was a good pick for Haymitch… though I thought the character was much less belligerent and much more mentoring in the movie compared to the book.
At one point he tells Katniss, “You can do this,” in the movie and I thought to myself, “I don’t remember Haymitch being this encouraging in the book!”
Lenny Kravitz was a genius cast for Cinna. He is exactly how I thought the soft-spoken designer/mentor would be. I also think he should wear gold eye-liner from now on.
I could go on and on. Stanley Tucci (fabulous) and Donald Sutherland (captivating and scary) get honorable mentions. I also loved the way the movie really captured some of the emotional moments between the characters. I cried twice during the film. (Friends who know me well are now thinking, “You only cried twice? Impressive!”) SPOILER ALERT! Once after Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place and Gail takes Prim away screaming, and of course, when Rue dies. I’m a movie crier. It’s what I do.
So if you’ve read the books, and you haven’t seen the movie yet – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? If you haven’t read the books, you’re missing out on a good read… and a good flick!