by Joyce Brandon
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games trilogy so when asked to review the movie, of course, I was excited to do so. My enthusiasm waned; however, after realizing that I was less then enthralled with the Hollywood version of the book.
The casting felt forced. Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson just seemed too old and too well fed to be believable. They were distractingly healthy looking compared to my vision of what the characters should have looked like. No, I don’t think the actors should be asked to starve themselves; but, maybe some attempt at makeup and camouflage should have been used. There were some really bad flashback scenes when Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) was supposed to be younger and desperate for food. It looked so strange to see Jennifer Lawrence trying to look pathetic but with the same round cheeked, twenty something face, we saw in all of her previous scenes. It was distracting and just seemed odd.
I didn’t enjoy the camera work in the beginning of the film because of the constant movement. I understand that the effect was supposed to be a street level view of the action but it made me kind of seasick. I think I was too close to the screen to overcome the constant rolling of the camera lens. Thankfully, it didn’t last long.
As with most movies, this one could not tell the story in the same way the book did: It felt like a rushed skimming of the pages. There was a lot to the story and to tell it in two hours would have been a major feat; but, I felt a little cheated.
I did enjoy the settings, and the costumes of the citizens of The Capitol were wonderful. The hotels and food displays were well done and perfectly exemplified the excesses of the Capitol’s population. There was good contrast to portray the “haves” and the “have not’s”. I think the set and costume designers did a great job.
I think the movie is worth seeing if you are just looking for an evening’s entertainment; but, for a huge fan of the book, the movie was a disappointment. I asked my fourteen your old daughter, which she preferred, the book or the movie, without hesitation, she said the book. That’s pretty telling.
Check out the trailer on the movie’s website.
Check out Joyce’s review of the Hunger Games book here at KRL.
Editors note: Just to also provide some thoughts from those who saw the movie, but hadn’t read the books: I personally, felt like there was too little story and too little character development for me to really get into it–it was a good “action” flick but I felt it could be so much more. On the other hand, the teens with me who have not read the books, loved the movie!
Hunger Games is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.