The wait is over! The Hunger Games is finally here. Clearly, I’m not the only one who was dying to see it, as millions flooded to the theaters already. (I am writing this less than 24 hours after the movie came out.)
Since many of you may not have seen it yet, I won’t comment too much on the details. No spoilers. But I’m going to assume you’ve read the books or at least know the players. I fully expected the movie to kick ass…and it did. It stayed true to the book, and only omitted the things that weren’t completely necessary. The tone was serious with moments of levity.
In my opinion, the greatest victory was the casting. Jennifer Lawrence was perfect as Katniss Everdeen. Even though I saw it several times in the trailer, when she volunteered as tribute to save her sister at the reaping, tears sprung to my eyes. The moments of humanity and vulnerability were the best parts of the movie. And Lawrence gave the right balance between sensitive and strong. She effortlessly carried the movie.
Josh Hutcherson was great as Peeta: innocent, wholesome, and kind. Aw, Peeta, you are just too precious to live. Can I have some bread now?
Gale wasn’t featured much in the movie, so Liam Hemsworth didn’t leave much of an impression on me. He may be too handsome for this role. Or maybe I just don’t trust him because he dates Miley Cyrus.
Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson were fantastic as Effie and Haymitch. I think they made the characters more likable than they were in the books. Lenny
Crabcakes Kravitz played a restrained and serious Cinna. And he looked good in gold eyeliner.
But the best performance, by far, was Stanley Tucci’s. He is quickly becoming my favorite actor, so I was thrilled to see him steal every scene he appeared in. Caesar Flickerman was a pleasant TV host in the books, but Tucci has elevated him to a hammy, charismatic, larger-than-life presence. Every person in my sold-out theater twittered with excitement when he appeared on screen. He was brilliant!
If there is a criticism to be made about The Hunger Games, it’s the cinematography. The first hour was a study in shaky close-ups. I felt myself longing to see past the faces to the scenery. It was like trying to watch a movie through a pin-hole. Gary Ross is not a master of quality camera work, but I hope we see that improve when he makes Catching Fire.
Overall, I found the movie highly enjoyable and I can’t wait for the sequels. Have you seen it yet? Leave me your rating in the comments section.