Since January, there was never a week that I haven’t heard about the epic Hunger Games or the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence from everybody’s mouth. Almost everday, the trailer of the movie adaptation was being played over and over again in the office by some of my co-staff who happen to be die-hard fans of the novel.
Since Hunger Games became the bomb in the city, I started seeing high school students in the university reading the book or hearing some random people talk about the awesome plot of Suzzane Collin’s novel. My Facebook newsfeed was also filled with Hunger Games news, trailers (again), and some fan-made videos about it. Someone even painted a mural about it in the campus’ premise, with a flaming golden bird and a May-the-odds-be-ever-in-your-favor tagline. All those crazes made me curious and made me wanna watch the film too. So I told a friend to watch it when it hits the cinema.
(By the way, I read the book until page 8 only until I remembered my friend telling me that I’d appreciate the film more if I haven’t read the book yet, so I gave up.)
We entered the cinema with high expectations, and were quite surprised to see a lot of audience inside. We struggled to find seats amidst the darkness, so we went to the farthest seats in order not to disturb the others. The film was already in the Reaping part when we got in, and we had no choice. After watching the film, here are some of the things that I noticed:
There was no question about the skills of the actors and actresses. They were simply brilliant – and perfect. Jennifer Lawrence projected a simple aura of the main character, Katniss, who fits very well to her looks. I love her husky voice, though, especially the part when she shouted “I volunteer! I volunteer as Tribute!”
The touching part of the movie was when Rue was accidentally killed by another Tribute who supposedly wanted to kill Katniss. It was heart-breaking. The part when Katniss showed a “salute” (the Hunger Games style) to the camera after she put flowers on Rue’s corpse gave me goosebumps. I don’t know why.
The other actors were excellent. Of course, how could I forgot the super dazzling makeup of Effie Trinket (I don’t know her real name), the ever bossy and Miss Proper Etiquette in the film who wore different colored wigs and makeups. She nailed the character, like seriously.
Peeta was brilliant too, although it was my first time to see him on screen. That Rue kid, who also starred in Columbiana, was also good, although she doesn’t have much lines in the film. Her eyes could express so much.
Some people say that the cinematography was stunning, but based on my honest observations, it was kind of dizzy.
There was a lot of shaky cameras in the beginning and some parts of the film. Those I think weren’t very effective. I think it was an impractical choice because, well, where the hell was that camera supposed to be shooting from? Nowhere in the dome was anyone running around with a camcorder – nor did anyone have a camera mounted to their head. All the cameras were in the trees, etc. Unless there was a windstorm or earthquake, there should have been no shaky camera, only zoom. My friends who watched with me noticed it, too, and were bothered much with it.
Some scenes focused on unimportant elements, I believe.
Talking about stories of survival, the plot of the Hunger Games was awesome. It talked about survival in a different yet interesting angle . Suzzane Collins weaved the story well, and I bet she’s already prepared to be the next J.K Rowling in this generation.
However, I was expecting of a more action-packed and bloody fighting scenes when the Games began. But the movie lacked some punch with it. I mean, it was a story of survival, right? So why didn’t they give much attention to the fighting scenes? It could give more thrill to the movie, though. The pacing of the action part was very fast too, and left with me with a bit disappointing feeling.
The amazing scene to me was during the grand entrance of the Tributes in the Capitol, where Katniss and Peeta wore elegant fitting costumes with some blazing fire (sounds redundant) at their back. Epic entrance was epic. They were totally hot.
All in all, the movie was fine. I guess some reactions of people were just exagerrated (perhaps because they were die-hard fans and biased), but I think it was fine. I’m still going to read the book in the future so I could judge it well. But still, even without reading the book, the movie was lacking and offered a small helium balloon after it had promised a blimp.