Hello again readers. This week I’m looking at a film that tested quite favourably with most critics when it came out. However, when I watched it, I was underwhelmed by the whole thing. Maybe it was because I haven’t read the books or I was not the target demographic (I would be very shocked if I was) but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that this film wasn’t really trying.
Before we begin. I’d just like to say again that I have no idea about the original source material. What I say here is my own opinion, based solely on the film and may not line up with the books.
Whilst we are discussing the districts, we need to see that they are impoverished and starving, giving meaning to the title. I found it very hard to believe that Katniss and Peter were really starving, nor anybody in the districts look emaciated. We even see a flashback in which Peter is feeding pigs with what looks to be slightly burned bread; if there was real starvation, they wouldn’t be feeding the pigs burnt bread. This is further compounded by showing Katniss and Peter eating like civilised people when they are given a sumptuous banquet by the ruling class. I understand it would have probably meant an extra couple of months filming whilst the actors bulked up to a more normal size.
This goes doubly so for the secondary baddies in the actual contest itself. I need more motivation to root for the protagonist against the odds other than they’re simply not the good guys. It’s stated that they’ve been in training for most of their lives for this opportunity, but they’re never given enough screen time to come across as anything other than a minor annoyance, nasty for sake of being nasty.
On a final note for characters, I can’t be the only one who saw Lenny Kravitz and heard his songs in my head whenever he was on screen…
Going back to the flashbacks in the film. Peter is feeding the pigs when he sees Katniss hiding behind a tree, throwing her a loaf of bread. This is more or less the entirety of the flashback. Apparently Katniss was starving and that was why Peter gave her the food, but because of them both looking like they were healthy and well nourished, this scene makes little sense. It also doesn’t help that there is no timeframe between when the flashback occurred and the present day. The purpose of the flashback is meant to be when Peter and Katniss first met and when Peter fell in love with her. One could assume that it’s been a while as he has supposedly been pining over her whilst she completely ignored him, but because they don’t look any younger; it could have only been a week and a half before the events of the film took place. Using some younger actors, or even making them up to look younger, would have helped to give us a better sense of what was happening, and made us care more about Peter.
Well there you have it. How did I do? Let me know in the comments and don’t be afraid to argue a counter argument. I'm intending to read the book through and see how my opinion differs.
I’ll be back next week, looking to sink my teeth into another movie. If you have any suggestions, please let us know! Until then, stay safe, and may the odds be ever in your favour.