Blogging from A to Z, Film & Television Reviews

G is for Games

I’ve seen The Hunger Games three times now. I’ll most likely go see it again if any of my friends decide they need someone to go with. And, like a good little almost-English major, I’ve analyzed it. A lot. So it’s probably time for me to actually post that review I keep promising…

It’s not really a secret that I’m absolutely and positively in love with these books. In fact, I need a couple of my toes to count how many people have read these books because of me. And the reason I love the books so much is because there’s so much going on, whether it’s exploring themes of humanity, or critiquing violence and the media, or examining how propaganda is spread and information is controlled by withholding contact between the districts, or exploring how an authoritarian government’s power can be enforced through a combination of propaganda, isolation, starvation, and fear. (This is where most of the people I know go, who had any idea that that much was going on in a book written for teenagers? And then I facepalm.)

Obviously, there’s not enough time to explore ALL THESE THINGS in a two-ish hour long movie. They had to pick and choose which of these things to explore. And what I loved about the movie is how well they explored the themes they did choose – in this case, the critique of the media.

In the book, we’re aware of the fact that this is a TV show. But since the story was told from Katniss’s point of view, I feel like we lose a lot of that. I mean, there’s times when it comes up, but we don’t get the full picture that we get in the movie. Since the movie wasn’t limited by Katniss’s point of view, we got to see so much more than we did when reading the book. The add-ins we saw, with the commentaries, and the scenes in the Gamemakers’ Room? Genius. I think, by seeing these things, it really, really sinks in that these Games – you know, watching teenagers murder each other on national television? – is just entertainment to the people in the Capitol. We can see how everything is perfectly orchestrated to provide the maximum entertainment value.

There was also that little bit, after Rue died, where they showed District 11 rioting. I feel like I’m one of the only people who didn’t mind this. I feel like it did a great job foreshadowing what’s going to come in the next 2-3 movies (side note: I really hope they don’t split either of the books into two movies, for serious), and if you haven’t read the book (which you totally should) and gotten the undercurrent of rebellion that was missing in the rest of the movie, you probably wouldn’t understand where things are coming from in the next two movies when everything hits the fan.

The other thing I really loved was, of course, Jennifer Lawrence. I mean, I don’t really need to get into this, right? Ever since I saw her in Winter’s Bone, she was the only person I could picture playing Katniss. I mean, seriously, enough said there.

Was the movie perfect? Not at all. But the things I loved about it completely outweigh the (very few) little things that annoyed me, so I’m not even going to get into that here.

Currently Listening To: Florence + The Machine – “Heartlines”
Currently Reading: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

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7 thoughts on “G is for Games”

  1. I've read the first two books in the trilogy and just purchased Mockingjay tonight. I saw the film right after I finished reading The Hunger Games and had started on Catching Fire. I thought it was a brilliant adaptation. There was a little missing from the emotional depth in the character dynamics between Katniss and Rue and Katniss and Peeta but that didn't dampen my enjoyment of it. I'm keen to see it again, though I haven't decided when to go. I'm not sure about all the claims the media is making that it is better than the book. I think that is a little bit of a stretch.

  2. The lack of emotional depth was one of my complaints, so I'm hoping for some of that in the next movies. And I agree – although I do have to say, I love them both, but for different reasons.

  3. I loved the District 11 scene, I thought it was so powerful – I think it was my favourite part. And I also really, really hope they don't split the last book! I have heard that they plan to, but I hope it's not true, because it really doesn't need to happen. Really.

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