So I saw the new Hunger Games movie yesterday. I’m assuming that most of you are familiar with the plotline, but I’ll provide a quick summary. Panem is a world made of a Capitol and 12 Districts. Once the Districts rose up in rebellion, but the Capitol continues to punish the districts every year by demanding two Tributes–one boy, one girl–to fight in the Hunger Games, where Tributes are forced to kill. Katniss Everdeen of District 12 volunteers for the Games in order to save her sister Prim from a certain death. The threat of death in the arena, however, is the least of her problems.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I was particularly impressed with the setting and scenery. Some of the landscape shots are absolutely gorgeous, and I loved how the director portrayed the Capitol and its inhabitants. Everything is as sterile and the people are as outrageous as I pictured them when I was reading the books. I also thought they did a great job establishing the contrast between the Capitol and the different Districts. I was also reasonably pleased with the casting and portrayal. Favorite performances were probably Katniss, Peeta, Rue, Haymitch, and Effie. I think they capture the characters, and their acting matches up with what I pictured in the books. I thought this version of Katniss was subdued, but I liked that subdued sort of anger. The actress does a good job of conveying her uncertainty and affection toward her family. Together, the cast makes for a very moving picture. I was pleasantly surprised with Haymitch because I did not think he looked scruffy enough when I saw the original cast images. Rue is adorable and is very well portrayed.
My two complaints revolved around some of the shooting choices and some of the plotting/pacing. I occasionally found some of their shots, such as some of the fighting shots and Katniss’ hallucinations, to be a bit dizzying. I understand why they did it, but the frequency of these types of shots was really annoying. I also felt like there were jumps in the plot and contributed to a minor lack of cohesion. I didn’t remember the books well enough to fill in the gaps, so sometimes I felt somewhat confused. None of these really made me want to stop watching the movie, so I consider these points fairly minor.
I’d recommend the movie. It stays pretty true to the book and is tastefully done and appropriate for most ages.