Just saw The Hunger Games during its premiere night with my kids a couple of days ago. I know some parents are in a dilemma if they should allow their young kids to see the PG-13 movie considering the anticipated violence it will portray. Lucky for me my youngest son is already 14 and I have never really been strict in imposing what they watch, read, or play. I’m a person who believes that censorship breeds more curiosity and dishonesty between children and parents. I draw the line at porn of course, but I know it’s a futile effort every parent should be responsible enough to uphold.
I’ve read Suzanne Collins Hunger Games trilogy (albeit I haven’t found the time to finish the last one) and like any trilogy book , the first is always the best. When it was announced that a movie was underway, both my eldest and I were thrilled at the idea of how it would be shown. It was dampened a bit though when the cast was announced. Jennifer Lawrence was far too old to play Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the series. Suzanne Collins created Katniss as a very young girl who was forced by circumstances to care for her family after her father died in a mining accident. The setting is post apocalyptic with a dystopian theme. While reading the book, I imagined her to be a gangly teen running around in the forest, a bit grimy and unkempt, as she tries to hunt for food to feed her mother and sister. Jennifer Lawrence’s hips were no where similar to a 16 year old nor did she appear to be starving. Moreover, the irony of a little girl taking care of her family got lost somewhere when you know you are watching a 21 year old actress playing the role. I think a newbie would have been a better choice, much like Daniel Radcliffe was chosen to play Harry.
Being familiar with movies adapted from novels, I was already prepared for omissions from the original story. The movie showed a far different circumstance on how Katniss got her Mockingjay pin which probably meant that the character of Madge may be totally eliminated from the movie franchise. But I was hoping for more action and excitement during the game itself. Unfortunately, the portrayal of the games seemed to have flown by so fast it was like a blur to me.
Overall, it wasn’t so bad. But it’s not the type of movie I see my kids eager to watch over and over again like The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. I am uncertain about the movie’s budget, but it seemed like there wasn’t much — I don’t see much diversity in the camera views. I don’t see any aerial views or vantage points that can show a bigger picture. Even the cornucopia was a disappointment.
Hopefully, Gary Ross can deliver a better movie for the sequel, Catching Fire. Hopefully.