15 April 2012

The Hunger Games... Maybe I'm Just Too Cynical

I guess I couldn't ignore this for long...
I saw The Hunger Games the other day... Where to begin.

I think may have mentioned at least once that when it comes to majority opinion, I tend to get very skeptical. When people were raging over the books, I backed off without hesitation. Twilight fooled me once and I was not going to fall for another trap. This series is more than likely far better written but I was not ready to examine the bandwagon. An overreaction? Perhaps. It didn't help that one of my friends obsessed about it, because I'm not always as impressed by the stuff she loves. I try her cup of tea, enjoy it mildly, and return to mine.

That aside, I heard and read everyone's outcry on the whole issue of a "lack of racial diversity" and "twenty black people in the background doesn't count as diversity." Because I have not read the books, I have no comment. While watching the film, I saw nothing of that nature to complain about.

Now, as a "typical movie fan", The Hunger Games was rather entertaining. The pacing and build-up was nearly flawless, the set was fantastic, the second half was more suspenseful than a horror film, and the costumes were great. The shaky camera was very annoying in the beginning and during some of the action scenes, but it did help to hide some of the gruesome murders.

The best part of the film was the commentary on the reality TV-crazed American media. Everyone is obsessed with sitting back at home and watching the drama, death, and violence the kids face during the game of survival. The well-off citizens in the Capital looked like overdressed candy wrappers in an elegant, futuristic store shelf. Despite how ludicrous appearances were, this aesthetic was surprisingly... beautiful. This was far more appropriate and tasteful than Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

The world of Panem is very easy to understand, even if you never touched the books. For all of these, I was very pleased. Honestly, I was looking forward to the later films just to see this where this political dystopian universe will go.

But I walked out of this film pissed off.

I'm sorry, who are all of you again?

Despite the easy-to-follow plot, most of the characters fell dangerously behind. Other than Katniss, Gale, Rue, and Peeta, I cannot remember anyone else's names. I'm not sure if it's the actors' faults for poorly enunciating (for a while, I heard Cinna being called "Sinner") or the writers' faults for not clearly defining who was who. We never get to know any of the other kids fighting in the games, except Rue and the generically aggressive blonde jerk. The former gets fleshed out too late, but still done well enough; the latter was essentially pointless.

Out of the entire crew, only Gale and Katniss made great first impressions through their believable dialogue. But only Peeta stood out as the most likable character despite his quiet introduction. Everyone else was forgettable, especially Haymitch, who only served as the stereotypically incompetent mentor. Even Naruto pulled off that trope better... twice.

Above all else, I absolutely despised every single moment Katniss and Peeta exchanged words. Katniss treated him like crap in the beginning for no clear reason. I get that she's not exactly into having a relationship with anyone, but here she looked more rude than self-confident or being a "survivor." Even when everyone tells the two to pretend to have a "star-crossed romance" for the sake of entertainment for the Hunger Games, I could not take them seriously. Their "romance" was almost at Twilight levels of aggravating and sugary mush. Though I was glad Katniss went out in the midst of danger despite Peeta's whiny protests like most guys are portrayed in romances, I struggled to contain my frustration.

*sigh* I'm just so cynical and nitpicky.

I'll pass.
Look, this movie is worth checking out. Seriously. After the lack of good movies after the last Harry Potter film and Chronicle, this is worth two and a half hours of your life. All my complaints aside, this was a well-made movie that's fun, easy to follow, suspenseful, and emotional. Don't take my mixed feelings to heart.

There's only one thing I know for certain. I am still not convinced to read the books.

3.3 out of 5


Tenebris In Lux said...

Fangiiiirl! *hugs*

I saw this movie and liked it. Wasn't the greatest thing ever, and the book was far better ..

I do think that you have a point about the characters. None of them really had their own role, expect Katniss and Peeta and some others (there is a reason why they were played up, I get it, but yeah ..).

.:Melanie~Light:. said...

hiya!!! *hugs back*

the saddest part of the film was that everyone hyped it up to be the next Harry Potter, while being tagged with Twilight's flaws, due to Hunger Games being a YA novel.

that being said, it's still one of the better films I've seen in months. but after my childhood at Hogwarts came to an end, I've been pretty reluctant to watch new movies.

EschaTheMadReaper said...

in the book, it's better explained as to why katniss treats him like crap. even i feel SLIGHTLY sympathetic to her view, although there were times i can't help but want to shoot her in the ass.

the movie was okay. it could have gone a lot worse.

and don't get me started about this bring the next HP. i don't mind it... compared to the fact that fifty shades of grey actually topped the sales of HP. when i first heard about it, i immediately thought of joining that cult in P3 and hope for nyx to purge the world from this madness.

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