I admit to being a little late to the party with this one, but better late than never as they say.
This weekend I finally saw The Hunger Games. I haven’t read any of the trilogy by Suzanne Collins, so I figured I was coming into the movie from a fairly rare viewpoint. Most of the movies I’ve seen after having read the books that spawned them have paled in comparison, since there’s always so much more you can do in a book than in 142 minutes of film.
My overall take was that the premise is certainly unique and makes a profound statement about man’s inhumanity to man, politics, government, freedom, hope, the relentless spirit of youth and so on. I admit I ‘cheated’ a bit by watching the movie with my daughter, who has read all the books, loved them, and was more than happy to answer all my plot related questions – and I had quite a few. I’m convinced that if she hadn’t been on hand to explain a lot of the missing background, I might have been a little bit lost. I think quite a bit was left on the page and not translated to film for those of us who skipped the book experience.
While I thought Katniss was a strong female role model who managed to rise above the pouting, sullen avatar of Twilight’s Bella Swan, I would still hesitate to recommend the movie to anyone looking for a good time. Obviously the movie is based on a dark time in a dark future, so I suppose I’m not really justified in wanting to enjoy it. It wasn’t hard to watch, and despite the violence, it wasn’t unpleasant, but I have to admit I’m tired of movies that leave the audience in a pit of despair. I see fewer and fewer movies that provide me with a real sense of having been entertained. [Avengers anyone? Sorry, JB]. While Hunger Games may be well crafted, well acted and interesting, it left me with nothing but a longing for something to lift my spirits. I tend to think when you can make the good guys winning still feel like a major downer, you’ve missed the point of movie making.
If you’ve seen or read The Hunger Games [or done both] I’d love to hear your opinion. Do you think the movie did the book justice? Were you confused? Depressed? Or blown away?