DISCLAIMER: Spoilers ahead
So, saw the Hunger Games last night. I was, well, kinda disappointed. It’s very probable that it is just one of those, it’s not as good as the book kind of disappointeds, but I’m going to stick by it. Sure, it’s a hard thing to put such an action-packed/detail-oriented book onto the screen and not have the people who know the details to be pissed that so much is missing. But I don’t really think that was the real issue.
In fact, I really enjoyed some of the additional details they added to the story. I liked seeing Snow’s fingers more directly involved in the first book’s story. I loved seeing more of how the Capitol responds to things. I really loved seeing the riot break out in District 11 after Rue died.
And I loved the actors. I thought they could have done a bit more with Woody as Haymitch. He didn’t come off as drunk as I would’ve liked. But Thresh was beautiful, even if we only got short glimpses of him. Rue was adorable. Cato was brutal, although, once again, would have loved to see more of him. And Jennifer Lawrence, I believe, pulled off the emotional character of Katniss pretty darn flawlessly.
But the movie just seemed rushed. Not fast-paced, rushed. Sure, they had a lot of content to cover, and the movie still clocks in over 2 hours, but it just seemed like they really didn’t use the time to fully develop, well, anything. There’s a lot of ideas being presented, a lot of stuff’s going on, but I never really feel like anything got latched onto. I would think at the very least there would be a bit more attention paid to the relationship between Katniss and Peeta. As it was, not only do I not really see the spark growing between the two of them, I have no real vision (from the movie) of the doubts gnawing at Katniss’s mind. The love triangle is, in my mind, one of the most important parts of the story, and it’s something that I didn’t see any development on. Even Gale’s part of the triangle was relegated to subtle glances of disappointment.
Once again, I understand the limitations put in place when trying to put a big story like this on the screen, but I also understand the need to develop at least some part of the story on a much more determined basis. It felt like Spiderman 3 to me, where there was tons going on, but nothing really happened. Sure, bad guys were beaten, good guys won, but. . . well, the tale of how it happened just seemed lacking.
And, of course, the reason I feel this so deeply is because Suzanne Collins did such an amazing job of developing all of this in the novel.
Now, they do have 3 more movies in which to develop these storylines further, and I have no doubt that they will be able to do a better job, now that Lionsgate sees the money-machine they have created. Yet, the lack of focus on any of these storylines in the initial movie seems to cause some problems for developing them appropriately in the future. Most of the rest of the series works off of what happened in the ring the first time. Katniss continues to work through what occurred her first time in the Games until the very end of the trilogy (and, from the epilogue, through the rest of her life) but we didn’t see that. We see her torment at the death of Rue, although we barely saw the friendship between the two blossom. But more importantly, we didn’t see the love story between her and Peeta begin. We just see hints that Peeta’s actually interested, and very little showing Katniss’s feelings on the topic.
It’s possible they can pull this off, and I’m sure they will. I just wanted more. I hungered for more (cheesy, right?).
It was a totally worthwhile movie. I was pulled in. And they started off very strongly, pulling in emotions from the beginning. And outside of the jerky camera work which seemed unnecessary at many points (understandable once in the ring, not so understandable outside of it), was a beautifully produced flick. I just longed for the emotions I felt reading the book itself. Here’s hoping they can do the texts a bit more justice when adapting the next 2 books.
And that’s my long-winded way of saying: I still have nothing of any interest to report on the writing front today. Querying and editing. . . boring stuff, I know.
Have a good one!