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OK, just got back from seeing Hunger Games. I am lucky that my work schedule gives me Mondays off, so not only did I get in, but I got in during a matinee (cheap tix, or relatively so).

They did a pretty good job. Some things were condensed and a bit sanitized. I understand why. On the other hand, they expanded so that you could see the behind the scenes machinations of the hunger games, which was very useful to explain background that otherwise you would not get. Well incorporated and well done--actually rather cool. The way they depicted the Capitol was very good. Honestly, terrific.

I am editing this to put in a warning that there is something rather spoilerish about my critique--not really, but in case anybody wants to be 'pure' stop reading



Don't read if you wish to be completely spoiler freee

Last Warning

What I thought was missing was the overwhelming sense of terror and misery. They were trying to avoid an R rating so that the young adults who comprise a great portion of the fanbase of the novels would not be shut out. I understand that and concur. They avoided showing a lot of actual killing, at least in a very graphic way. But the atmosphere was sort of cleaned up/made more bland.

Jennifer Lawrence was terrific, as was Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bently, and Elizabeth Banks was absolutely unrecognizeable --but fabulous--as Effie. No quibbles at all about the casting.

There has been press about how Jennifer Lawrence did not look starved enough to play Katniss. In fact, Jennifer Lawrence is a beautiful young woman who looks strong and healthy--actually a perfect body. Part of me actually would have used this same quibble with Lawrence when she played Ree in Winter's Bone. I would have expected more gauntness to her and she is not gaunt, but rounded in her cheeks. For the role of Katniss, what was required was a sense of someone who was physically strong and capable: lithe and fleet of foot, a good woodsman---and strong enough to physically help Peeta when he was wounded. A starved looking actress would not have pulled that off at well.

Lawrence was superb at conveying absolute terror. Still the way that the film was shot pulled back a bit from the strong feelings and stayed on the surface. I get that they wanted to keep the rating below R but I think this was the only real miss. Of course, one could always quibble with ways that the film deviates from the book but in any meaningful way, it was quite true.
Edited by tgir, Mar 26 2012, 06:46 PM.
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The Hunger Games · Movies & Books