May the odds be ever in your favor

posted Mar 23, 2012, 9:58 AM by jj pionke
I went and saw The Hunger Games last night with what seemed like a zillion teenagers.  There was supposed to be a group from my program but my friend and I couldn't find anyone which was ok.  We settled into a theater to watch and watch we did.

As an English professor one of the hardest things for me to drill into my student's heads is that a film adaptation of a book isn't the book.  I am not sure why, but I really noticed that with this film.  I felt like the adaptation was very well handled and the compression of characters and storyline worked out great.  I was also impressed that they managed to hold onto the PG13 rating.  Katniss' emotions and motivations are well played throughout the film, in some ways, much better than in the book.  Out of all of the characters in the trilogy, I always felt that Katniss felt the most emotionally flat to me but the actress who portrays her did an amazing job in bringing out the subtlety of emotions.  This is a great film, though definitely not one for small kids.

All that said, as a fellow student stated, "I wish there was a Dark Knight version of this movie..."  and I agree with that too.  The adult in me says that I wish there had been better development of the dystopian society and that the violence was far more real and gritty as it had felt in the book.  The film relies heavily on jump-cutting and far shots to establish the violent ends of the various characters which for a PG13 film is perfectly acceptable, though admittedly, I wish that the editing had been a little less hardcore jumpy and a little more innovative.  The jumpiness got old pretty quick.

Still, I am glad I went and saw it.  I am even glad I went and saw it with a theater full of teenagers who were excited and talked and asked questions and dressed up.  I am sure that the next two films will get made and I am definitely curious to see what they come up with, especially as the next two books get more and more into political intrigue, warfare, and bloody ends.