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Thoughts on The Hunger Games

…the movie version.

I read THG and enjoyed it.  So much so that I immediately bought Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

THG remains my favorite, so we’ll just stick to the movie version of that now.

I loved it.  From the portrayal of the Appalachian-esque mining town (my husband’s family is from West Virginia – a land known for its coal mines, mountains and forests) with its stark poverty to the almost-another-planet feeling of Capitol, the settings for this movie were brilliant. Exactly as I could have imagined them to be.

I absolutely appreciated how the movie could – and did – take us “behind the scenes” to where the Game was being orchestrated.  Watching Haymitch schmooze to get sponsorship for his girl (I feel that he and Katniss share a lot in common) when she needed help, watching Seneca Crane and his amused but clinical approach to directing the players on the killing grounds…

Was it horrible? Yes.  The story is a brutal dystopia and the absolute power of President Snow is seen with his quiet-voiced disapproval as he cuts his roses and so on.  (Donald Sutherland was brilliant, as always.)

I cried.  More than once.  Katniss is not an emotional creature, but she loves her sister and that was so entirely evident at the Reaping.  Her smiles in the forest for Gale were real, too. Short-lived, but genuine. That is what made her feigned smiles at the end of the Games, on the Victors’ Interview, so chilling, to me.

I feel dreadful for Peeta, as the movie concludes. I do. He loves this girl who is playing to win. Katniss is a survivor – it’s what she does best.  And she does it well.  I don’t have to like her all the time, but the film makes it easy to understand her.  And to feel that she’s doing her best with what she has.

There aren’t a lot of movies I would willingly pay full price to see repeatedly, but this is definitely one of them.

Oh yes,  I am definitely Team Gale. 

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6 replies »

  1. I’ve been hesitant to see the movie, after my ‘only half read’ through of the book. I thought the book should’ve been so much better – using the same characters and situations and such… I don’t feel that way about fiction much since I’m fine with authors doing their own thing. Yet THG book just kind of… I dunno, rubbed me the wrong way.

    I could just be i’m a 36 year old male.

    However I know I’ll eventually see the movie. One of the issues that irritated me about the book is the constant “First Person Narrative in the Mind.” I think getting rid of that will go a long way to furthering my enjoyment of the story itself.

    Eventually I’ll find out.

    It is kind of funny – I don’t mind first person narrative. I’m reading a series that uses the technique extensively. Yet it bothered me in the Hunger Games. Ah well, to each his or her own I suppose. I do not begrudge the author her success, however, for I would love such a success.

    • Katniss is not the most sympathetic heroine. This might be bothering you, too.

      The movie is very well done, all things being equal.

      • I’m fine with unsympathetic characters. Heck I read Gone with the Wind and enjoyed it. I think knowing what Katniss was thinking all the time didn’t help the story, plus I felt the ‘romantic’ parts were forced. I love the setting and the mythology behind it, but I wish the story was told in a different way.

        I had some of the same feelings for Stephen Lawhead’s First Person Narrative books, as well. I know we talked about it a little many, many moons ago. When the world was young and the Buffalo and Elves played in fields of golden sunshine… I don’t think I expressed it the same way. Looking back on those books I better understand why many of them irritated me. Anyway, I digress…

    • Oh, I was surprised that I reacted emotionally so EARLY, to be honest. I knew I would when Rue died, but the Reaping was brutal, to me. Moreso in the movie than the book. So that was a huge thumbs-up from me as the story unfolded.