By Alexandra Pell, Student
Spoilers ahead, of course.
The short answer is: yes, definitely -- because my expectations were realistic.
It was both truly fantastic and very notably imperfect at the same time. I try to come at these things by reminding myself that the movie is not the book and should not be the book. It is a movie. It is based-on but separate, its own different form of art, fundamentally a different story even though it resembles the book. This goes for all book-to-movie translations.
Hutcherson did a good job as Peeta. I totally bought him as funny and charming and, most of all, a lovesick fool. (I kept thinking, Katniss, you idiot, he's perfect! How could you possibly be so stupid, you silly girl?!) That was part of a bad thing about the movie though -- so little time was spent on their [fake-ish] relationship [relative to the book] that the acting had to make up for much of what couldn't fit into the allotted time. Luckily they [in my opinion] had excellent chemistry.
Some moments were simply perfect, like the arrow through the apple, Katniss' score of eleven, etc. Oh. And, this goes with what I said above -- the first real kiss between Katniss and dirt-covered Peeta. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, sorry. I was saying?
Other things were done as well as they could be in a movie, but necessarily had to be worse than how they went in the book. For instance, the way the silver parachutes worked and what they included in the movie. A lot of nuance in a lot of areas had to [necessarily -- through no fault of anyone involved in the film] be lost.
The violence was handled well in my opinion, made PG13 by intelligent camera work that resembled what one might see while tumbling on the ground or running frantically. Go you, director of photography! High five!
I admit I cried at several moments.
The actor who plays Gale is a talentless lump, even compared to how flat Gale is in the books. I'm not saying I could do a better job if I were him, but apparently neither can he ...
Oh, and Haymitch was awesome!
Strangely, the movie included one sort of thing that was excellent and was never shown in the books: the room in which stoic workers carelessly played with children's lives by controlling events in the arena. I was utterly fascinated. Without the constraint of Katniss as narrator, the movie actually had more freedom than the book in some ways. It was startling and disturbing. The thoughtless disregard for life, to the point of ending lives as casually as one would do any other work task, was perfect. And very, very scary.
The moment that touched and saddened me the most, though, was Haymitch watching little Capitol children pretending to hurt each other. Truly only a game for them, while the real games were not actually games at all.
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