Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Saw The Hunger Games

Last Friday, I saw The Hunger Games movie. I liked it, but I worry if people will understand some scenes. My friends who did not read the books missed the new situation at the end of the movie. Although characters smile at that point, listen to what is said in private!

I am glad that I read the first two books before the movie so that I knew the details and connections. It is hard for me to picture how much of the story I would have grasped without the book. Thankfully, some game explanations from Katniss' thoughts in the book were given in another manner.

I will be vague in further discussion of the movie to avoid spoiling it. However, I will first discuss my disappointment in The Watchmen adaptation for comparison. The trailer is down below.

Reaction to The Watchmen Adaptation First

I read The Watchmen comic shortly before the movie release. Here is the trailer for it.
During the movie, I laughed and was entertained, but afterwards I felt disappointed in the adaptation for these reasons:

  • The state of the world was not depicted enough. In the comic the second Silk Spectra helped portray the society at least through her addiction.
  • There is no distinction made between superheros and masked vigilantes.
  • Heroes that did not severely harm or kill, like Silk Spectra, plunged a knife into a mugger's throat. In the comic, the heroes who take lives are the ones who have a different state of mind.
  • Does the viewer question the consequences that the heroes reluctantly accept?
I do not detest every change made in an adaptation. For example, I have no problem with the change in the S.Q.U.I.D. Because years have past since I first saw the movie, I would now watch it a second time. Some scenes were great to see on the screen.

Back to The Hunger Games

The movie was a good introduction to Katniss' world. Some great scenes were left out of the movie, but I think key moments for characters were kept such as when Thresh speaks in the game and Cinna's influence. I was not disappointed. Some of you may be if you expect love drama.

Before the movie, I read an article on the decision to tone down the violence, which the director felt was unnecessary for the main message and characters. I agree. Anyone who hungered for more violence has not grasped that the game is actually an instrument not entertainment. The anticipation of the game and the game itself are exciting, but remember its purpose and meaning. Violence is not action. Do you mean conflict or confrontations that can be an opportunity for character growth instead?

I was surprised that the terror and danger were toned down too. I think young audiences could handle a little more of both. The focus was appropriately placed on the main danger, the Capitol. Each book because harsher though. Will the rating stay at PG-13?

To me the book was a suspenseful adventure while the movie was more on the dystopic world. When Kato has the sword, I thought of Roger in Lord of the Flies. I can see that aspect as enough terror for some minors.

Some parts before the game felt slow to me, but my coworkers who did not read the book said the beginning was fast for them. After all, they did not know the setting and characters yet. Come to think of it, I did not linger on questions with the movie's pace. So I guess the first half of the movie was not slow.
Stanley Tucci as Caesar.

My favorite minor characters in the book were Rue and Haymitch. During the movie, I smiled and laughed at every scene of Caesar, but I was still teary for Prim and Rue. It was nice to see non-tribute characters during the game.

I  left the theater at 1am with energy from the movie. The third book, Mockingjay, is higher on my reading list now and I want to read the first book again. I may watch the movie in theaters a second time.

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