Watched The Hunger Games premiere night so I'm reviewing it. I'm pretty sure there was a shit-ton more and I'll probably keep adding it in as I remember.
EXPECTATIONS: As soon as I saw the main cast, I expected very, very low quality in the film. I mean, I like a lot of them as individual performers but for something of this caliber, with this important a message, they wouldn't be able to pull it off as well as a POC could. Let's see what I got...
- Katniss: No, thank you. I like Jennifer Lawrence as an actress but she's not Katniss. I also hate that they wrote her to be this young woman who lost most of her badassery. She just says "Yeah, people don't like me" but they gave her a lot of feminine charm. I mean, I know she had to play up being feminine but that's not what I'm talking about. Argh, this is so difficult to articulate. Hmmmm...the audience should have been able to see when Katniss was playing the part and when she wasn't. If they tried to show any indication of that, they did a poor job of writing it in. They turned this strong-minded young woman into someone who lost a lot of her integrity. The scene where she sort of scolded Peeta, someone who is mature enough to be told "no" and will listen, about the nightlock berries was uncomfortable because she babied him almost to the point of being motherly. It was very cringe-worthy. Also...um...Katniss is supposed to be tiny. At least, tinier than THAT. Lawrence is way tall.
- Peeta: No. Hutcherson is a good actor as well but he's not Peeta. He played Peeta to be a little more boyish than I would expect. In the books, I found Peeta to be more..."mature" might not be the right word but hopefully you get the gist. When he would sort of reprimand Katniss for wanting to help him, it was also very uncomfortable for me. The way he communicated with Katniss was almost like..."You hang up! No, you hang up! No, you! No, hang up!" Ugh. Also, brunette looks more handsome on Hutcherson. Just sayin'.
- Gale: I despise this character but this was not AT ALL how I imagined Gale to look or act like. They made him seem like a high school jock. To be quite honest, I firmly believe Hemsworth would have made a MUCH better Finnick Odair in terms of looks.
- Haymitch: NO. I love, love, love Woody Harrelson and his environmental advocacy but NOOOOO. YOU DID IT WRONG! I always imagined Haymitch to look like a younger version of Morgan Freeman except graying a little bit. Freeman can play a drunkard AND look sagely and that's how I always imagined Haymitch would be. I got none of that from Harrelson. I also imagined Haymitch to be much more slobbish and in far less fancy attire—almost in rags. Almost. At least dirty/messy.
- Thresh: I imagined him to be more of a "gentle giant" type of person. I mean, yeah, they're put in an arena to be murdered but Thresh, to me, was almost like how Hodor is to Bran in Game of Thrones. When he got angry at Clove for talking about killing Rue, that felt more realistic to how Thresh would react and they played that out well but it was so abrupt.
THE VERDICT: Save yourself some pain and money, don't watch it. It felt like they were just fast-fowarding through the book. I recommend nabbing it at your local library and reading it if you haven't already. There was no fluidity, no diversity, and none of the truly important aspects that made the books great. I'm glad I didn't have high expectations.
IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU'LL LOVE: Twilight