Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why I ♥ The Hunger Games

Matt and I went to see The Hunger Games on Sunday.  We thought that giving it a couple days to let the hype die down would be advantageous, but it was almost as insane inside that theater as I imagine it was on opening night.  We had to sit in the second row, which was a bummer, but the movie was so good that I almost forgot about my eyeball headache!

I loved the book for a lot of the reasons everyone loved the book: fascinating story, compelling characters, good writing.  But most of all, I appreciated its deeply political nature and the allegory that will seep into the minds of all the tweens sporting TEAM PEETA shirts.  I also loved the casting.  Man, is Jennifer Lawrence beautiful:


Rue was heartbreakingly cute, and OMG Woody Harrelson!  Perfect!  And OMG Lenny Kravitz!  HOT!  And absolutely amazing as Cinna.

But back to the social commentary.  The people of Panem live in abject poverty without enough food to eat, all the while supervised by a luxurious Capitol of corrupt government officials.  This government forces children into a battle-to-the-death each year, in competition for a lifetime supply of food.  The poorest people are forced to enter the Hunger Games multiple times, as an extra entry into the death battle earns you a year's supply of grain/oil.  Pretty straight-forward, huh?

Makes me think about how our country's poorest people have lower life expectancies thanks to inadequate medical care, violent neighborhoods, environmental hazards (the poorest residential neighborhood in San Francisco is located amidst factories and old, toxic power plants, leaving its residents with the highest cancer rates in the city), poor nutrition, and, say, the disproportionate risk of getting shot by the police.  

But also, I just loved the movie for its entertainment and spectacle:




So: what did you think??

23 comments:

Happiness Is... said...

Do I have to read these books? I never gave in to Twilight...

SSS said...

I can count on you to bring back words like "allegory" that I haven't heard since 10th grade.

J and A said...

I cannot wait to go, we've not been yet. Soon!!

undomestic chica said...

I'm going tonight, I can't wait.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I was actually pretty disappointed. Maybe I shouldn't have re-read the book the night before seeing the movie :(

As a movie, I think it was good. But since it was adapted from a book - in a series - I felt like important parts were left out. The entire love story between Katniss and Peeta was cut short. That's crucial to the other movies. And so is the fact that Katniss helped Rue just as much as Rue helped her.

I understand that the movie can't be a carbon copy of the book but I think they should have kept certain things. Maybe I need to see it again...

Meghan said...

I thought it was pretty incredible. It must be so difficult to stay true to the book, and I thought the movie did a wonderful job with an overwhelming task. And I couldn't agree more about the casting - PERFECTION!

Deals, Steals and Heels said...

ms. lawrence is totally my current #1 lady crush. SHE WAS AMAZING.

i tried to go into it knowing the movie couldn't possibly be as detailed as the book, and as far as movie adaptations go...i thought it was amazing.

and i most definitely cried over rue. omg.

Megan, The Frugalista Diaries said...

she's so gorgeous.

bananas. said...

now that's what you call a fan-fricken-tastic review!!! i just love your social interpretation of the movie. you're such a brain, claire! ;)

as for me, well you know i loved the movie. loved it so much i almost forgot about josh hutcherson's little man syndrome. almost...but not entirely. whenever he stood next to jennifer/katniss, i'd cringe a little but then let it go.

ha! this coming from the shortest person ever (aka me).

Jax said...

YES! That's what I have to say about your commentary! I love the social undertones as well. I am a big fan of stories like this.. You can read/watch for sheer entertainment and choose not to get anything else out of it (why would you though) or you can see some of the deeper meanings that make you think.

Oh and yes.. Jennifer Lawrence was cast brilliantly. She's stunning and absolutely captivating on screen!

Gabby said...

I was looking forward to reading your review! I loved The Hunger Games, both the books and the movie. I just thought it was so well done.

Have you read the news articles about how some people were upset that Rue was black? Really awful.

Megan said...

I think the movie was really good, it was always going to be tough to do justice to the books but I think they got there. The casting was absolutely perfect!!
I think the book is perfect for teenagers, the social undertones are subtle enough to keep them interested but still teach thing lessons about the world.

Kristen said...

I haven't read the books. I want to badly and once this little person I now have sleeps for a few hours at a time, I will!!
I have always been curious what the basic storyline was in this saga so thanks for the synopsis. I knew it was about kids fighting each other but I didn't know why. Even more interesting now. I do want to see the movie- again, once I line up a sitter, maybe hubby and I will go see it!

April said...

Yeah, girl, yeah! I liked it a lot, but saw it at a local drive-in. . . so now I wanna see it in an actual theater! I feel like I missed somethings.

this free bird said...

Okay I have to come back and read this bc I haven't seen or read it yet. Want to be a blank slate upon examination!

Gracie said...

Claire you have written one of the best reviews. I like that you had some social commentary added there. Completely fascinating. Jennifer Lawrence is my girl crush I loved that they cast her and always thought she would be awesome even though a ton of people didn't like her.

The cast was perfection!

drollgirl said...

i loved the book(s). the movie was also good. and i like the message it sends: individuals matter and can make a difference; sometimes you need to sacrifice for the greater good; don't necessarily trust your government and/or authority; and rise up if need be. AWESOME.

Faiza said...

i saw it thursday night and the theatre was still packed.

i have to say that i was emotionally drained after the movie and had a hard time sleeping. it makes me sad to think that in north america we are still valuing people differently. i had crazy trayvon/hunger game dreams. ugh.

i've read the book twice. i appreciated that not everything would make it into the movie and i think they did a great job with the adaptation. i did think they could have done a better job with katniss' side of the katniss/peeta affair. it will be interesting to see how that plays out in the second movie.

i thought the casting was terrific!

robayre said...

we did the same thing and waited a few days. Only after seeing the movie and loving it have I finally decided to read the books. My mind is now racing after this post... why are people wearing Team Peeta shirts? In later books are we to root for Peeta over Katniss? Is Peeta the 1st person POV in one of the books? Does Katniss do something bad or even die? Yikes! Don't answer any of these questions, lol. I'm only 1/3 of the way through the first book, and absolutely loving it.

Matthew Snope said...

The Capitol goons/guards were dressed in white -- a calming color a la doctors' offices -- but they were still black leather jackbooted thugs mindlessly following protocol. The Hunger Games themself reminded me of how we recruit the poorest and least sheltered/priveleged to fight our wars, wars often about extracting resources from other places. I was also reminded of our "reality" tv fixation, and how it is a blend of the produced and authentic (just as the game was in the film) -- resulting in what Jean Baudrillard has called the "hyper-real". Capitol denizens in the film lived utterly detached from nature, replacing it with colorful symbolic shapes and fashions; though poorer, the people in Districts further out lived more in tune with nature, which is an interesting irony. (Nonetheless, Capitol denizens acted smug and above the poorer district people.) Nobody was probably happy -- Districts 11 & 12 had nature and each other, but were poverty-stricken, while Capitol people had abundance but lived superficial, stylish lives and were so detached that human bloodsport was their favorite entertainment.
I loved the butterfly scene after the bloodbath at the beginning of the games by the cornucopia. That was a nice touch.

Marz said...

I stayed up until 12:30 AM last night finishing the book! Yesterday all I could think about was getting home to curl up in bed with Peeta (haha). I haven't devoured a book like that since the Twilight series. I was really hesitant to even read the book because of the whole children in a battle-to-the-death just didn't seem like a good read lol, but you're right - the political nature is really powerful! Reminded me of the movie "In Time" that I also loved for that reason (and that my boyfriend Matt Bomer had five minutes on screen haha). I can't wait to see the movie!! My friend Ashleigh and I are going tomorrow night :) I know it's good if you watched it twice already :) Have you started the other books? Ash is also giving me those tomorrow and I can't wait to continue the journey!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I thought it was AMAZING!!! I was a huge fan of the book and the movie did not disappoint!

melifaif said...

What I THINK?!? Ate the books up....slopped em right up like a biscuit in some syrup. Haven't seen the movie yet!!! I know, I know. Blame Layla. :) But I WILL own it, that much I know.