Last month I wrote about having read the books and what I thought about them, and how I was excited about the film. Well, on Wednesday I went off with my friend Shaz to watch it! And I thought I’d write my thoughts about the film here.
Here there be spoilers.
Let The Spoiler Games begin!
*cough* Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
The film was good. I enjoyed it, which is saying something given I had already read the books. By no means was it perfect (film adaptations rarely are, if ever) and depending on how one looks at it, the film isn’t great either. But it wasn’t bad.
The thing that annoyed me the most was the shakiness of the camera, specially in the beginning of the film. It almost enough to give me a headache, and the extreme close-up shots on the character’s face weren’t helping. I guess they were aiming to give a sense of the story being real, which in my opinion is stupid, given how everyone knows it’s based on a book and set in the future. If anything, they should have gone traditional and stuck with static and pan shots. Shaking the camera felt useless, to be honest.
That said, the shakiness did work in the latter half of the film, when the Games began, giving the last section of the movie a sense of chaos and confusion throughout the scenes. And they didn’t overdo it either, only shaking the camera when they needed to.
In terms of story and plot, the film did pretty well, considering it’s… well, a film based on a book. I was worried they would change stuff around and cut things just like the Harry Potter film series did. Luckily, they didn’t change much or cut anything too important. The things they did change – such as removing the mayor’s daughter in the beginning – weren’t too mayor that I was still able to enjoy the plot and connect it with the events of the book.
And then there’re the scenes they added to the film. I have to say they did a pretty good job expanding the story, giving us a look at what’s happening behind the scenes while Katniss is stuck in the Games. For example, in the books we are told that the Gamemaker in charge of the 74th Hunger Games was killed under orders of President Snow. In the film, we are shown how, which I think was brilliant and is my favourite scene in the whole film.
This is, sadly, still a film based on the film, and as hard as they may try to be faithful to the film, they are still going to have problems. In The Hunger Games, it was the pacing. Every. Single. Scene felt rushed, and things felt like they were moving too quickly, and it’s sad that it couldn’t be helped – well, they could, but then we’d have a three-hour-long film in our hands.
Actors wise… I will admit this is not my area. I think most of the cast worked well. Jennifer Lawrence was magnificent as Katniss, giving us a small look at Katniss’s thoughts with her facial expressions. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mallark work well as well. I had doubts at the beginning of the film, but he grew on me as it progressed – which is funny, as one reviewer said, the same happens with the character while reading the book.
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch? Brilliant.
As for the rest of the cast, they worked to different degrees. Liam Hemsworth as Gale didn’t quite do it for me, he seemed too old and too static (just look at his face, he only smiles in like two scenes!) but maybe my opinion on him will change in the later films.
Overall, I would recommend the film, especially if you’re a fan and/or really excited about it. If you’re not, and you wouldn’t mind waiting for the film to be aired on TV, then go do that. As I said, it’s a good film, but not a great one. It had its ups and downs, and while it worked for me, it may not work for everyone.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the books, because you should. So… Off you go. READ them. NOW