I am a Johnny-come-lately to the The Hunger Games franchise, so the wait for the movie has not been as long as for some other people- in fact only a couple of weeks. But I’ve been looking forward to seeing Katniss brought to life on the big screen very much, and would have been devastated by a dud version.
But I’m not devastated, I’m absolutely delighted.
The casting, the story adaptation, the visualisation- all perfect in my opinion.
The casting of Jennifer Laurence as Katniss is brilliant, she has the perfect mix of strength and fragility, beauty and muscle to personify the empathetic, brave and strong character.
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark is great too- in his first scene at the reaping he seems incredibly small and boy-like, but grows into his destiny with the character beautifully.
Woody Harrelson (Haymitch) and Lenny Kravitz (Cinna) bring the smaller roles to life with great depth and in Harrelson’s case, the right mix of wisdom and humour. Lenny’s gold eyeshadow is bound to take off as a trend- not many men can wear eyeshadow, but wow, can Lenny pull it off!
The story adaptation incorporates a look from outside of Katniss’ perspective at the role of the game-makers and what is happening outside the arena- things that in the book Katniss can only guess at. I felt this lent alot of depth to the story and really worked. I’m sure though there will be plenty of people who disagree!
The costumes as well deserve a mention. They take Katniss from ruffian tomboy to glamourous reality TV star quite seamlessly and believably. The “Girl on Fire” outfit is amazing- I was wondering how they would bring that to life and I found it spectacular, as is the red dress Katniss wears to her first interview.
A couple of things I was happy the filmmakers left out. And I am grateful they did. There is no hip and happening soundtrack, something that irritates me in alot of new movies where the music feels like bad merchandising. There isn’t much music in the film at all and what music there is, fits in neatly with the rest of the film.
The other omission is masses of special effects. The film is quite naturalistic, with a focus on the human beings. I liked that very much!
So those are my thoughts on the film particularly as a fan of the book. Katniss is the absolute heroine of our time and I am so glad that girls and young women have a hero in a film who is beautiful, smart and strong, and not just beholden to some bloke to take care of her.
Katniss Power Forever.
Five stars from me.
Would love to hear what everyone else is thinking about the film. Do you love it as much as I did?