Firstly, you need to know that I've already read the book so my opinion for this movie is both based on what I've read, and what I've watched yesterday. Because other people who haven't read the book yet might have a different opinion about the movie.
I was a bit skeptical at first about this entire movie. I don't want hollywood to ruin the whole book. I really enjoyed the book and It seems impossible to hate the heroine, Katniss Everdeen. her life is just so sad and she managed to stay alive along with her sister, Prim, and her mother. ever since her father died, her mother refused to take care of them so Katniss had to take the initiative to keep her family alive by hunting some animals in the woods for their food, though it was forbidden to cross the line between the woods and her place. but she had to take the risk, otherwise they would starve to death in the destructive land of district 12.
her life continues, she kept on doing her routine to hunt in the woods with her best friend, Gale, until the day of the 74th Hunger Games finally comes. Prim was so desperate and scared whether or not they will picked her name, and Katniss tried to convince her that this is the first day they put her name there so they're not gonna pick her. but the truth said otherwise. Prim's name was called during the gathering and Katniss frantically tried to reach her sister and then shout a volunteering request. everyone was shocked by her sudden outburst because it was the first volunteering request ever in the district 12. Katniss too was shocked but she soon recover. she knew she had to do it for the sake of her beloved little sister. the second tribute was announced and there stand beside her is Peeta Mellark. they exchanged wary, scared, sad looks for a second then they shook hands.
Before the hunger games begins, there were a lot of tests and things that needs to be done. they were each given a lesson to survive in the woods, for example, to defend themselves, to ties a knot, to camouflage, to use sword, etc. there were 24 of them and they'll only have one victor. Katniss's specialty is to use a bow, while Peeta doesn't really has special ability beside his strength. Peeta was so sure that he'll be as good as dead the minute he entered the game and he kept on saying that until it started to pissed Katniss. the two didn't get along very well ever since.
Each district got a mentor to tell them what to do and to discuss things concerning the hunger games. they got the drunk Haymitch. After that, each district got a costume designer too to make an impression for the crowd to love them. they got the best, Cinna. They each did an on air interview too and they must be really careful with the tricky questions. Peeta were good at handling the crowd, unlike Katniss. the interview didn't go well (at least according to Katniss) because Peeta had another plan in mind that he said to the interviewer that Katniss is the love of his life and he has always loved Katniss since he first set eyes on her. the outrageous Katniss lunged for him and sort of choke him and pinning him to the wall as if she wanted to kill him right there at that second. but then Peeta and Haymitch tried to convince her that they were doing that to save her life, to make her desirable and loved by the crowd so that they would give sponsors to somehow help her to survive in the woods in case she needs something. after several arguments, Katniss finally bought it and then started to apologize to Peeta.
the day for the 74th Hunger Games has finally come, and let the Hunger Games begin!
I love the book very much that it kills me if they ruin it on the movie adaptation. turns out that the movie itself was very good. at least they managed to stay loyal to the book and the director really did a pretty good job on creating the emotional atmosphere in the movie because that is all the book is about. It feels like I was a part of it. like I was in the movie myself I can feel their agony, their pain, their desperateness. which means the movie was a pretty good one, no?
some says that the movie was lacked of feelings. Katniss's feeling especially. well, if you read the book, you'll know about what she's thinking about at the moment, while in the movie, she just so quiet and tries to reflect her feelings with her facial expression. looks like that wasn't enough. maybe the message wasn't delivered clear enough for the audience who haven't read the book yet. there are some moments that I need to explain to my sister about what was going on exactly. but this doesn't mean Jennifer Lawrence failed to portrayed Katniss. I still thinks that she was the perfect person to portrayed Katniss. she got this rebellious, tough, survivor looks on her that suits the role just fine. the rest of the cast did a very great job too for the character. I was a bit skeptical at first about Josh Hutcherson though. but it turns out that he's alright as Peeta. I started to like him. Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Alexander Ludwig as Cato, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Donald Sutherland as the President, Elizabeth Banks as Effie... the cast couldn't be more perfect!
now about the flaws.. I was very sad when I found out that they decided to left out the part in the woods when the district 11 (Rue's) gave some breads to Katniss as a 'thank you' sign for burying Rue. I think that part was very important because it was indeed very touching. and it's like some kind of a proof that the bond between district 11 and Katniss was a little bit stronger than usual. and they left out the part where Katniss dehydrates and starves. also the fact that Peeta is sort of like dying at the end of the games? and at the end they need to cut one of his leg off and give him a plastic leg. that just gonna add more dramatic scene because I think the ending was too abrupt. I haven't had the chance to piece together all of the informations and suddenly the credit rolled. and the scene where they fight with Cato was a bit 'dirty'(meaning the camera holding) and a bit rushed I think.
but overall, despite the flaws, I really think that this movie is one of the best movie adaptation out there. Hollywood usually ruins it, as you know. I'm very satisfied and can breathe a sigh of relief for the result. I'm soooooo looking forward for Catching Fire! =D
May the odds be ever in your favor!
President Snow: Welcome! We salute your courage and your sacrifice and we wish you Happy Hunger Games!