First, the movie was considerably better than the book, because it eliminated some of the writing flaws. The first is obvious. A film naturally describes every scene. The book rarely described anything, making the reader blind to almost everything. The film explored the details with excellent visuals.
Second, the film viewer doesn’t have to endure the clunky first person present tense writing that’s in the book.
Third, some story flaws are mended. Katniss comes off as less selfish in the movie, thereby making her a more believable heroine. The silly kissing and romance are minimized. The back story is greatly enhanced by showing what’s going on behind the scenes during the games. The nudity is eliminated.
The film tried, relatively unsuccessfully, to bring Gale back into the story, a component the author ignored, but I appreciated the attempt. He got lost in the story.
The acting was quite good overall. The actress for Katniss was exceptional. The actor for Peeta was very good, excellent at times.
- The actress for Katniss was too old and too well fed.
- The shaky camera was annoying, especially at the beginning.
- The death scene with Rue was well done, nice emotional pull.
- The dog creatures at the end were still a poorly conceived device, even though the film made a valiant attempt at foreshadowing them.
- The change of rules and then back was still there, the single biggest flaw in the story. It would have been very difficult to eliminate it, but it was still frustrating. I wanted to know if Katniss would sacrifice to help Peeta even if she knew he might kill her or she might have to kill him. Katniss never faced the dilemmas that the premise set up. It’s like a promise that isn’t kept, which made for a unsatisfying experience.
- The entire premise that the powers that be would destroy a rebellious district is unbelievable. They would be cutting off essential supplies. So the idea that the districts would acquiesce to sending their loved ones to die doesn’t work. Again, the film would have been hard pressed to change that.
- I like the grittiness and realism at the beginning, the poor clothing, dirty conditions, and no makeup.
Overall, I rate it 3.5 stars out of 5. If not for the last two flaws I mentioned, it could have been a 4.5-star movie, but these decisions were the author's fault, not the film maker's, so I gave it an overall positive score as a movie.
Do you agree or disagree with Bryan's review? Did you prefer the book or the movie? Why?
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