Friday, March 23, 2012

Not Impressed by The Hunger Games

Basically any movie based on any book is going to be somewhat of a slap in the face to the devoted book lovers. Now, the degree of pain which the slap inflicts upon these book-lovers varies by how true the film remains to the story. I was expecting The Hunger Games to be as accurate as modern day pregnancy tests from what I read of critics' reviews. I find this true on some levels, but some rather important aspects of the plot were altered far too much to be acceptable. Yes, I understand time limitations. However, I do not understand when inaccuracies are made that seem entirely unnecessary- something which happened far too often in this film.

I believe that before I even began reading the series, I knew that Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss. Therefore, it was not a kick in the stomach when I saw her in the leading role, and I think there is no one else who could have played it more accurately. Ever since I saw Lawrence in Winter's Bone I was aware of her capabilities on screen. The fact that at her age she has already recieved an Oscar nod for best actress is fine evidence for this as well. So, I had no problem with her in the role of Katniss- she did an astounding job. The similarities between book characters and film characters pretty much end there, however.

The worst offender I believe was Donald Sutherland as President Snow. Author of The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins specifically makes him out to be a creepy guy with "puffy blue lips" (the kind which would insinuate multiple plastic surgeries). He is supposed to be a typical, overly made-up citizen of the Capitol, and yet to me he simply appears to be a kind old grandfather, the type of character which we see in Pride and Predjudice. Also on my list of horrendously-cast actors is Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. This may have been a product of my imagination, but I had invisioned him to be a manly, somewhat spastic, charming young man who clearly wins some of Katniss' affection. Their romance is a key plot point in the novel, and yet it was not well done in any way in the film. Hutcherson is a small individual and appears to be about 3 years younger than Lawrence- it is like DiCaprio and Winslet all over again in Titanic. This simply does not work, and they have some of the worst on-screen chemistry I have ever seen. The poorly-done romance between the two had a seriously negative impact on the film as a whole.

On a more positive note, the explanations of things that non-readers would not understand was generally exceptional. Fitting so many plots into the film is an extremely difficult task, and one that was done very well. The cinematography was also an aspect which positively contributed to the film, and it also did not feel too long or too short. So, I do not want to bully the film too much as I understand the difficulties faced by the filmmakers. Is it worth seeing? Yes, but do not be too disappointed by the discrepencies between cinema and literature.

These two? Seriously? He could be her little brother.

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