Friday, April 6, 2012

Follow Up: The Movie

My friends and I waited until after Spring Break for our area schools to attend a matinee showing of The Hunger Games yesterday. I don't know how well someone who hadn't read the books could keep up with the story, but I thought it was well done. The books are written in first person from Katniss' POV, which challenges movie makers to turn a character's thoughts into a visual representation. Thus some of the changes in the movie version of the story. Nothing really irritating. Multiple characters and story lines in a novel have to be pared down for a theatrical release.

As I indicated in my last post, the three books really tell a single story and the ending of the movie wasn't a very satisfying conclusion. That's because there is more to come.

I did have difficulty with the bouncing camera technique used in many scenes. I guess it's supposed to give the viewer a sense of immediacy and being in the scene. But I have an astigmatism and I get headaches trying to focus on a book in a moving car.

The whole premise of the books and movie is violence done to and by children. Much of it was displayed very briefly for the viewer to imagine what was done. And in all cases Katniss, the character with whom we are expected to empathize, displayed distaste for it.

I admit -- I'm out of it. I wasn't familiar with the young actors playing the main characters. They all did well. But I have to say, Donald Sutherland is at his slimy best, and Stanley Tucci is hilarious as the over-the-top broadcast celebrity. The costume designers and make-up artists must have had a blast clothing the citizens of The Capitol.

I admit, I'm not a movie critic. But I think the movie expressed the theme of the book, and it certainly held my attention throughout. I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series.

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