Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Hunger Games - Post-view

Ok folks, so I just got back from seeing The Hunger Games and (drumroll pleaase), I really enjoyed it. That's not to say it was without its flaws but the good far outweighed the bad here. Bear in mind that I have not read the books so all apologies if things have gone over my head or if I get names wrong.

FIrst off, I had guessed the ending well before seeing the movie because of the snippets I'd heard about the story from friends. I guessed that Katniss would survive based on the fact that I knew there were three novels all about her and when people told me there was a twist, I guessed from the romance aspect that her and her lover would win. It's just simple reasoning really but I wasn't disappointed in knowing the basics of the ending before seeing it, what I was looking for was likable characters and an interesting plot and this movie delivers.

I have a lead who is likable, loyal and selfless in Katniss. She volunteers to essentially die in place of her sister in the annual Hunger Games and from that point on I was rooting for her. I knew she would win but I didn't know exactly how so I still felt her struggles throughout the game. She is also fucking fierce which I love. She doesn't need a guy to look after her, she is more the type to take care of and protect others. The scene where she is displaying her talents to the sponsors who are outrightly ignoring her and she shoots an arrow at one of their apples was just badass. I loved her.

The set designs are pretty gorgeous and the costumes for the rich people are fairly imaginative and represent the lengths a wealthy society will go to stand out and be fashionable. Which is actually another thing I liked about this movie. It didn't make its audience out to be stupid mindless drones worried about romance. Teens can and do care about real issues and this movie, surprisingly dealt with a lot. Sacrifice, death, desperation, hell even questioning our values in fashion and reality tv. Hell, when blue-haired guy was interviewing the tributes, I could almost hear that awful American Idol music playing in the background and that's all this was. A manufactured popularity contest designed to please its audience, except instead of being voted off, you die. Neat.

I wanted to punch mauve/purple dress wearing lady so many times throughout the movie. She was everything I hate about today's general population. Conceited, vain, self-centred, and fake.

I knew everyone in the battlefield was going to die except Katniss and Peeta but goddamit the scene with Rue devastated me. I could see Katniss putting her little sister in Rue early on and losing her, knowing that it could have just as easily been her little sister in her place, her feeling of failure at being unable to protect her was hard to watch. My one nitpick about this is that I kind of wanted a little more development with Rue. It felt too fast. I could see Katniss developing an attachment to Rue from afar, or at least a concern but I just wanted a little more interaction between the two to make the impact of her death all the more meaningful. It felt like Katniss wakes up, they share dinner, they split up, then she dies next time you see her. I don't know, I just wanted a little more.

The climax of the movie was pretty damn exciting and I liked that Katniss and Peeta worked together. I didn't feel like one saved the other or anything, they really felt like a team in that last battle and that they were in it together. It's how it should be these days. No more damsel or dumbass in distress just people trying to survive and helping each other out.

That being said, I was a little thrown off by the romance aspect. I think Peeta was telling the truth about having a crush on Katniss to which she didn't really reciprocate except for show in the begining. However, towards the end I was a little confused because it seemed like she was reciprocating the feelings but then Hamitch? Woody's character told her to tell everyone she was going to throw the game because she loved Peeta so that the Capitol wouldn't have a reason to be pissed at them for throwing the game. I kind of thought that was the reason they didn't kill each other so this threw me a bit. I guess this will be covered more in the other stories?

At the same time, I was very happy that they didn't dwell on the romance too much and that it was very much Katniss's story of survival for the sake of her family who needed her to hold them together. This was a great watch and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a great read as I've decided to give the books a read now.

If you haven't seen it yet, though I'm pretty sure most everyone has, give The Hunger Games a shot. It's got characters you root for and some suspenceful and action-packed scenes. So, you hear that friends? You were right and I'm glad I gave this a shot.

Until next time, I'm Blinvy and I've got some reading to do.


  1. Rue does get more space and development in the books.

    Re: her feelings for Peeta - I think it's a combination of feelings, which is also clearer in the book. Katniss does have affection for Peeta (he saved her life when she was younger), but she was willing to let him die in the arena for the sake of her own survival, until she was given the option of keeping both of them alive. I think the moment with the berries was actually three things: 1, keeping Peeta alive; 2, sticking it to the Capital; and 3, the knowledge that she couldn't really go back to District 12 and look anyone in the eye if she had let Peeta die while she lived.

    My sister thinks the second point was her primary motive (and this is the reason Haymitch tells her she needs to sell the love angle, or President Snow will have her killed). I'm inclined to think the third point was her primary motive, as survival really is key to understanding Katniss throughout the books.

    Good review!

    1. Awesome, Zelda! Thanks for the info. It makes me really want to get my hands on the books now.

      I think I'm inclined to agree with you that her decisions were always about survival and being there for her sister, Primrose. I think that's why I find her so fascinating, she is a truly strong character who is willing to do things she doesn't want to for the sake of survival and especially for the well-being of her sister.

      I guess I'll find out more when I finally pick up the books. :)