The Hunger Games movie comes out today. I was fortunate to attend a midnight screening of this movie at the Pickwick in Park Ridge. The audience was entertained by someone playing contemporary and classic songs on the organ. Some attendees dressed up like the characters. It was a lively audience, and people did not quiet down until after the previews. Unfortunately, some people in the audience chose to be loud or laugh during pivotal scenes in the movie.
The script followed the plot of the movie closely. The filmmakers chose not to use voice over narration, so we were not able to get inside Katniss's head as much as the book. Jennifer Lawrence who played that character did an excellent job of conveying emotions though, and after awhile, it did not matter that there was no narration.
As Peeta is one of my favorite characters, I had certain expectations and ideas about the character. I was pleasantly surprised by Josh Hutcherson's portrayal of Peeta, and I accepted him as that character. He and Jennifer Lawrence managed to wonderfully illustrate the changing dynamic between the two characters.
I was never a huge Gale fan, but Liam Hemsworth was adequate in his three speaking scenes and two speechless, brooding scenes. He did display good rapport with Katniss in their brief scenes together. The actors playing the adult roles were also excellent especially Woody Harrelson as Haymitch.
The camera work at the beginning made me dizzy and a little nauseated. They used similar techniques during the cornucopia scene to greater effect. Although people were worried that with a PG-13 rating they could not show the true horrors of the arena, I thought you got to understand how terrible the fighting was in the arena through the filmmakers choices. Of course ,some elements of the book were left out; however, I did not really miss those scenes. Plus, the movie creators decided to add scenes about the people working behind the scenes to create the action in the arena. This gave the audience a better sense of how the people in power manipulated the tributes.
This movie was definitely worth the money to see it on a big screen.
Brief reviews from others paraphrased as I scrawled them on a piece of paper at 2:30 A.M.:
D - Really liked how the movie was true to descriptions in the book especially how it demonstrated the poverty in District 12
LP - "Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was on the edge of my seat."
SW - "I will see it again."