I know, everyone and their mother, and, in some cases, their brother, has written a review of the Hunger Games movie, but what kind of dystopian writer would I be if I didn’t also add my two cents? Not a very good one, or so I have convinced myself.

My Two Cents

In watching the previews, I was concerned that the District 12 scenes would not be gritty enough and that the Hunger Games would not be disturbing enough. And, happily, I was proved wrong. Not only did District 12 feel gritty and depressing, especially when compared to the glitz of the Capital, but the Games were incredibly disturbing as were the responses from the citizens in the Capital.

I enjoyed getting to see more the working of the Games with all of the behind the scenes shots as they added in obstacles and manipulated the players. This was an element we did not get to truly experience through the book, though the manipulations were there, and I thought that this really added some nice depth to the movie. It was also nice to get to see more of Seneca’s character. Wes Bentley created a very likable character and I really felt for him.

Even though I saw this scene many times in the previews, I still got teared up when Katniss volunteered to take Rue’s spot. I thought Jennifer Lawrence’s acting was very good. She was pensive enough to fit the character as portrayed in the book, but was also able to ‘fake’ the right emotions for the scenes where she works to manipulate the sponsors into helping her and come off as seeming very real in the scenes where her emotions were meant to be real.

Gale was ok. I’m a bit concerned about how Liam Hemsworth will do in the next movies where he has a slightly larger role. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta grew on me as the movie went on. While he was completely different than I imagined, I was actually really pleased with the casting for Haymitch. Woody Harrelson gave the character a bit more depth than I expected.

One complaint I had was that there was too much in the movie, and because so much of the plot was added and so many characters were included, we did not have the opportunity to become as emotionally connected to the characters as you can through the book. My mom warned me that I had better make sure my fiance read the books before going to the movie because otherwise the relationships would not be as clear, and she was correct. Had I gone to the movie with a completely blank slate in regards to the plot and story, I probably would have left a bit confused. I know it is a tough job, creating a movie from a book. Sometimes there is too much editing, but I think this movie could have benefitted from more editing.

All in all, I was pretty pleased with the film adaptation of this great book and I am eager to see what they do with the rest of the trilogy.

What did you think about the movie? Did it live up to your expectations?