Initial Hunger Games Thoughts at 4AM

It’s nearly 4am and I have just returned from a midnight showing of The Hunger Games. I saw it at the Cinerama Dome and Gary Ross was even there to introduce it. To get right to it, I really liked it. They did a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of the book. That’s all you can ever hope for when you see an adaptation of a favorite novel. But I do think they exceeded that hope.

 I saw the film with a group of friends and we were all pumped up on our way into the theater. Then when the film started I was reminded of something. The Hunger Games is a grim and brutal story of a dystopian society. It’s not fun like a super hero film or even Harry Potter. The opening handheld scenes of a rundown, poor, District 12 threw you into this harsh reality with great effect. Overall the violence was handled well. The career tributes from Districts 1 and 2 were properly intimidating. They don’t hold back on children being stabbed or having their necks snapped. The violence feels real, as it should. After all this is a brutal world and to hold back would do the emotions of Katniss a disservice.

The books are told first person and Gary Ross along with a terrific Jennifer Lawrence help put you into Katniss head space. They give us just enough to let us know what she’s thinking without spelling it out. There are times in the arena where it felt a little rushed. Small details that might only bother a fan of the book. I look forward to talking to people who haven’t read it to see how they feel. One plus is the film plays up the reality television aspect more. This violence as entertainment. We get glimpses of how the arena is run. How people react to the tributes while watching at home. Its great stuff we didn’t get to see in the book.

That’s all for now. I’ve been up nearly 24 hours and need to get some rest. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts in the morning.


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