Last Saturday Filmspanarna had our third blog-meetup and we decided to watch the Hunger Games together. This list will be spoily so if you want to read a review thats not a love fest but is spoiler free check out this review by Rich. Now over to my rambling spoiler fest.
I give you my five reasons why Hunger Games sucked!
- Lack of character depth – More or less all characters in the film weren’t introduced in a way that made me involved with the story. That includes the opening scene where Katniss voluntaries to take her kid sisters Prim’s place and also all scenes with Rye. I think they made a poor choice focusing almost entirely on Katniss throughout the film making all other characters feel like cardboard cut-outs. As of now I didn’t care that much during the killings, which is a horrible thing to admit since the story is so gruesome. I definitively think it had helped to know more about the other characters especially the other kids in the Battle Roy… sorry Reaping or what it was called…
- Why the Hunger Games? – Another point where people who have read the novel probably disagrees with me but I didn’t get the concept of the games. Why was everyone just passively watching it and didn’t do any resistance (until Rye is killed). Also it’s mentioned that the participants in the poll for the games get food for their family. Does it make the whole thing voluntarily? Because why would Donald Sutherland give them food if it was mandatory for them to be in the poll to begin with. I did miss some obvious background story and rules explanation, which I’m quite sure, is depicted in the book. Sad for me I’ll never know because I’m of the opinion that a film adaptation should stand on its own two feet which this one clearly don’t do.
- Why was Gale in this? I understand he probably had a reasonable function in the book and even in the sequels, but here he only became the bruiting love interest that observes and mourn from a distance. This might be the most contrived love triangle in the history of film.
- Pack up the tri-pod for christs sake!!!!! The cinematography was really distracting and uneven, especially the opening 20 minutes that consisted of really annoying shaky cam footage that made it real hard to keep up with what was happening on the screen. Later in the film they switched camera style several times, which gives a very uneven impression and the choice of style weren’t always the obvious one.
- The End – Wow that final twist with Katniss and Peeta about to fake a Romeo and Juliette suicide when they find out they need to kill each other to win was so lame. I think they were too stuck with the novel and I wished they had constructed a ending that had worked better cinematically, rather than doing a rushed ending that feels like its completely from the book but without the nuances that literature gives you as a reader.
Its safe to say I won’t be keeping track of the sequels I really think this is probably the most overhyped film since Avatar and I’m baffled that this kind of simplistic approach of a novel adaptation works so well in the cinemas. Beside these five points I’had a ton of other issues to but these five were the ones I wanted to bring up because I think if they had fixed a couple of them the film would have been improved quite a bit.
Now over to the two scenes that I really liked one scene was incredibly captivating and sent a chill of joy down my spine. That was when Katniss looked straight into the camera (Truman Show Style) and kissed her fingertips. That was some impressive filmmaking and I do think that scene was really good edited between her and the ones who were watching her. It’s also a great example on how music can be used to strengthen a feeling with the audience.
The other scene was the initial scene of the battle where the kids/teenagers stood and waited for it to start. I really liked the tension building and the use of both cinematography and sound design to create a really frightening atmosphere. Awesome as hell and I wished more of the film had had this kind of build-up.
Finally, I got to plug a wonderful podcast episode on the Hunger Games that I listened to this monday by Brian J. Roan. I more or less agree with everything that Brian says on the show beside the fact that he keep saying that he kind of enjoyed it.
And now to my Swedish blog colleagues that I watched the Hunger Games with and thoroughly discussed it afterwards.