Apr 9, 2012

[Movie Review] The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Movie is EPIC!

I'm not just saying that because I'm a fan of the book or I want to add to the flock of bloggers giving it high praises just to say it was a huge hit. I'm saying it because that's what it is. The Hunger Games Movie is plainly and simply EPIC.

As a proof of how much I enjoyed the film I watched it on the big screen twice. Yes! Twice! First on the premiere date (March 22) and the second time on March 26 with my bestfriend.

What made The Hunger Games movie epic? Here's my take…

Let me start with the LEAD ROLES of Katniss and Peeta. Peeta oh Peeta! How I love thee. Josh Hutcherson may not have the looks and build of your stereotype hero but I'm so glad the role was given to him. For crying out loud, the guy can act! Look how convincing his eyes are during some intense scene. It's priceless. And there's the awesome Jennifer Lawrence. I can't think of anyone else who can do Katniss better than her. For a story that centers it's drama on a girl who was caught up in the middle of a survival game, Jennifer showed all the right emotions required in the scenes she's in. She portrayed shock, fear, anger, pain and hope very convincingly. I'm a happy bee when I know the characters in my fave books are given justice in the movie and a lot happier when I know the actors can actually ACT.

Next, let's go to the CINEMATOGRAPHY. The film is pretty. Despite the general feel of violence of the film I find the scenery very pleasing to the eye. Not just the scenes in the woods but also the scenes in District 12 and in the Capitol.

Third on my list is the TIMING. In our world today where more that half the population is fascinated and so caught up with reality shows, it just make sense that people will generally warm up to the story of The Hunger Games. The tributes are like the contestants in Survivor or Big Brother and the citizens of Panem are just like the rest of us who watches Survivor and Big Brother on TV. The second time I watched the film, I heard someone from the audience say, "Over na ka Big Brother! Gibarbeque nimo siya ganina, karon bungol napud?", as we watched Katniss go deaf for a moment after the land mine explosion. See, even the people who didn't read the book can relate to the movie. Nice!

Last but not the least is the TRANSLATION. I can't explain how satisfied I was when I watched the story translated faithfully into the big screen. Sure, the Game Control Room was not mentioned in the book but it didn't ruined the plot altogether. If anything it made the story believable by incorporating the idea of virtual reality, except it's not virtual but real. Okay, the laws of physics just got me dizzy! All I'm saying is that you will not miss a thing if you go watch the movie without reading the book. They're basically the same. You can hardly ever tell that to a lot of book adaptations. Hollywood has this habit of ruining a good story, you know. I guess having the author as one of the screenplay writers is a positive move. I mean, Suzanne Collins will never want to ruin her story right?

What I just laid out is in my opinion what made THG a big hit. BUT! I won't end this without mentioning the few things that made me shake my head:

*I was VERY disappointed with Katniss and Peeta on fire during the chariot ride! (and I share this disappointment with my fellow fan friends who read the book.) I expected the fire to engulf their whole body. The literal meaning of the girl on fire. Imagine I was on the edge of my seat expecting a grand entrance and then fall back on my seat suppressing a sigh. WTH! Then when I got home I checked the book. I read that the cape and the headdress are the ONLY part of their outfit that are on fire. Okay! Sucks to be me with a memory gap.

*Peeta didn't have one leg cut off. Granted it didn't do damage to the over-all translation but this should have intensified the ending more. A reminder that the TWO of them may have survived the game but they'll never be the same again.

*During the train ride back to District 12, it wasn't expressed clearly that Peeta knew Katniss was only pretending to be in love with him for them to get on the good side of the viewing public. That it was all an ACT for her whereas it was REAL for him. I want that fact out in the open because that was a major turning point for Part 2. Waah! I got so frustrated that THG will go Twilight~ish on me, that they'll go all the way and milk on the romance angle. Another frustrating triangle??!

Okay, maybe they'll start the next movie with a flashback of that train conversation between Peeta and Katniss and all will be forgiven. I'll hope for that.

*Lastly, the cheesy line Katniss said that ruined a turning point in the story. I'll admit I didn't dwell on it the first time and just smiled at the cheesiness. But the second time I heard it is so excruciatingly painful to my sugar count. It was on a scene in the woods when Peeta and Katniss separated to search for food and then the canon goes Boom! and then Katniss freaked out and then she goes searching for Peeta. What did she say when she found Peeta?! I know right? It totally ruined the tension! And I freakin' checked the book for that line and it wasn't there. Grr! The other cheesy lines they spoke I can forgive but not that. It went overboard. Even Bella telling Edward that is absurd and I will cut my head off if she does.

Now that I said that I have this sudden urge to take it all back. I am definitely bashing the movie I just quote as EPIC in my opening line but I won't take it back because no movie will ever be perfect. There are always things that you can't agree with the filmakers.

I'll say it again, The Hunger Games Movie is EPIC! and I'm not just saying that because it was a box office hit and totally wiped out Twilight's record but because it is what it is.

See you in 2013, Catching fire!

[Whew! That was long!]

The images I used on this post are not mine. Credits to the rightful owners.

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