Thoughts on the Hunger Games movie. Because I can’t think of any non-obvious titles.

Well, I should post a blog. But it’s kind of like when people ask what you’ve been up to and you can’t think of anything to say until like two hours later when a million things pop into your head. Like on Wednesday, a bunch of people who hadn’t seen me in a month asked what I’d been up to. And I was like, “meh. Writing. Saw Hunger Games. Being alive. Same old.” But then later I thought, Wait– a month? Saint Patrick’s Day! Duh!

So that’s where my March went.

Anyway. Speaking of Hunger Games. It was… interesting. It wasn’t bad (expect for the faces Peeta kept making– I kept wanting to laugh at all kinds of serious moments due to his overeager facial expressions) and it wasn’t brilliant (except for a few scenes which I’m getting to) and I don’t know what I think of it in general. I guess I can say I’m disappointed because I expected to be on the edge of my seat in a sobbing mess while my brain silently applauded. What actually happened was I felt-like-everyone-was-trying-so-hard-but-it-was-not-working. Like, I kept looking at the actors and thinking “That is supposed to be a shocked face, but he looks about to drool” “That is supposed to be really sad/scary/etc” but the emotions just couldn’t break out of the screen.

Part of it may have been that the style of filming, all first-person and shaky and dizzying. I felt like I couldn’t see a thing.

Not that I wanted to see a lot of gore. I went in thinking I would have to close my eyes at parts, but I didn’t. And maybe that was the other thing that dulled the emotions– the fact that they softened the violence so that you saw nothing, or if you did see something it didn’t give you that sick feeling. Again, I didn’t want to see gore, but… I think there are various ways to not-show it, and they didn’t necessarily choose the best one. I didn’t get that sickening someone-just-died-horribly feeling that I got from the books. And I should have. When that kind of violence happens, people should feel at least a little sick.

There were some scenes, though, that did ring with me. When Haymitch sees the Capitol kids chasing each other with toy swords. Cato’s final speech. Seneca looking at the bowl of berries. District Twelve saluting instead of applauding.

Notice how almost none of these are in the book.
Notice how almost none of these have words in them.
Movies are so lucky. They can have little five-second-no-words scenes that rock you. Like in A Man For All Seasons, when he walks past the ballroom and the colors and the one guy watching… Like, books can’t do stuff like that. That’s right, movies, put it to good use! If I was making a movie I’d put in tons of those fleeting-yet-impactful glimpses.    

People have suggested that the film is made as though the viewer is, well, a viewer– one of the people watching the Games on television. Which makes me want to watch the movie again with that mindset. I wanted so badly to feel something! Even if it was “this sucks”.

But maybe, if you look at it as being the viewers in the story, feeling nothing at all might be sort of significant, too. Because I’m sure people in the Capitol, and in the Districts, also watched and felt nothing at all.

And that might be more sinister than anything Snow could cook up…

PS: Or. The answer is that Books are Always Better.
But you knew that already. ;)

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Hunger Games movie. Because I can’t think of any non-obvious titles.

  1. I thought THG should have been 18pl.

    But oddly, i never found myself getting dizzy. Maybe cause i;ve watched films like cloverfield, REC, and all those hand held shaky cam films.

  2. Oh, that’s sad. Pretty much the only big thing that bothered me was the shaky cam. It worked in some scenes, like the first race to cornucopia because I didn’t want to see everyone dying, but the rest of the time it was annoying and downright confusing. I was never a sobbing mess, although Rue’s death made me whimper, but that never bothered me. And a big part of my enjoyment is that in the movie, I liked Katniss. (And I HATE Katniss.)

    1. pen2sword

      That is one thing I should have mentioned– I loved her in the movie. I thought she was protrayed very well, and as you said, was more likeable in many ways than she was in the book. So that did really please me. :)

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