Mar 25

The Hunger Games: Movie Review

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.


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