Last night I braved the crowds (full of tweens and despondent parents), the imminent bad weather, and staying up past my self proclaimed bed time for a movie that I have been waiting to see for MONTHS. The Hunger Games finally premiered in theaters last night, and I will go ahead and say this: It was FANTASTIC!
But I am going to take this review in three parts: Pre-movie, the actual film, and the aftermath.
I have never attended, or wished to attend, a midnight premiere of a film. That is, until The Hunger Games was in the picture. I LOVED the trilogy, I read it in like a three day period and have been anticipating the film since then. So I’ll admit it, I bought tickets to the midnight viewing the day they were available.
I, as a 23 year old adult, totally geeked out for this film. Thanks to our sponsored giveaway from SkinIt, I had a Hunger Games skin on my tablet. While waiting in line, I got tons of compliments for it. Many said they wished they had one like it. The SkinIt skins look seamless. I had it for a Samsung Galaxy Tab, and it fit PERFECTLY.
I also fit in, probably too well, with all the tweens and young kids there, with my District 10 backpack that was custominzed with my name and Capitol citizen number, and my Down With the Capitol t-shirt. That’s right, I wore those things… But it was great.
One of the best things about going to a midnight premiere is the camaraderie. All these people that love a story as much as you do, all experiencing something that you all know is going to be HUGE. I kind of enjoyed that. For once I wasn’t lame for being so excited because everyone else was as excited I was.
OH MY. This film was just as good as I thought it was going to be. I had been anticipating this film so much that I was a little worried that I would be disappointed. But I was surprised how closely it actually followed the book.
Honestly, there were a few things they changed that caught my attention, but they changes didn’t detract from the film, or affect the overall story.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss surpassed everything I could have expected from her. She is one of the best actresses I have seen in a long time. Every scene was so full of emotion. During the reaping day scenes I really felt and saw her terror when she volunteered. She knew how to act like she knew she was heading to her death. So much acting chops in one actress. I cried during the goodbye scenes before they left for the Capitol. I was so impressed the way she ran through the forest, dodging fireballs, and was able to pull herself up into trees. She embodied everything that is the character of Katniss Everdeen. I honestly do not think that any other actress would have been able to pull it off like she did.
I have mentioned before my love for Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, and it was reinforced by watching the film. He truly embodied the character I had pictured when reading the novel. He easily slipped between love sick baker boy, to warrior with the careers, to weak almost dying tribute. Hutcherson is a very talented actor who made the perfect Peeta.
The whole movie was an emotional roller-coaster that kept you enticed from beginning to end. I felt the same way about the novel when I read that, and was excited to see that that feeling translated to the big screen.
Rue’s death. Seriously. Tears. My face was a waterfall. They overlayed Katniss’s breakdown from her death with scenes of the riot beginning in District 11. It was just. Beautiful. My very manly boyfriend attended the film with me, despite not reading the books, and even he shed a tear at Rue’s death. If you don’t cry or at least tear up at that scene then you are not human!
There is only one scene that was missing from the film that I really wish had been included. When Peeta is still healing in the cave, instead of being put to sleep by the medicine by Katniss, he merely fell asleep. I loved that scene in the novel, and was a little disappointed that it played out differently in the film.
Something I liked that they changed was the way Thresh kills Clove near the end. It was incredibly brutal in the novel, but they tamed it down in the movie. I don’t think I could have handled seeing it the other way.
Every scene with the cornucopia was perfect. Just how I imagined it reading it all those times.
Gary Ross is a surperb director. He was able to translate the novel almost flawlessly to the big screen. Fans of novel will not be disappointed with this adaptation. Once you get into the film, you stop thinking about the things that are different from the novel and you just fall in love with the characters from the novel all over again.
A big part of why this adaptation is so great, is truly the actors. They were so incredibly talented that they became their characters totally.
As we were leaving, I didn’t hear anyone saying anything other than praises for the film. Even those who had obviously gotten drugged their with their friends, family, and significant others, left the film as a fan.
This is one of the best book to film adaptations I have ever encountered. I don’t think any fan of the book will be disappointed with the way the film played out. It also will make new fans out of those who haven’t read the book.
So, go see it! It is totally worth it.