Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games (film)

Random musing:
There is a special feeling when you go in to watch a movie based on a book that you have already read. For one thing, you feel smarter than your fellow movie watchers (these guys have no idea what they are about to see).  In another front, you focus on just the cinematic aspect of it. There is a lot of comparison that goes between your visual imagery developed from the time that you read the book and the movie imagery.  The focus on details is higher and you are able to read the subtle acting nuances which may have gone unnoticed. It is almost equivalent to watching the movie for second time but a bit better. And personally, there is a lot of anticipation around music. When i read a book, there is a visual imagery but there is no audio that goes along..... I think the power of cinema is that it can combine visuals with audio and that just creates an experience that makes it special.

 Random musing around the movie:
Before the movie, i posted on facebook that i was disappointed by the lack of hype here in Bangalore (and in general India). I am pretty sure that in US, every channel would be airing the movie's ad and it would be talk of the town everywhere. But i was pretty happy with my movie watching experience. I went to the first day first show, the morning show on Friday (was so hoping that there would be a midnight show for this release :P). Thanks to being in  namma Benagluru, the cosmopiltan city, the show was almost full and there were enough young adults in crowd to yell at the top of their lungs when Gale/Peeta  were introduced. There were enough foreigners who joined in and they were also happy about it. 

Now, about the movie.
I knew the movie would be good from the moment i heard that Jennifer Lawrence is going to be Katniss Everdeen. After watching Winter's bone, i have been her fan and i know she has great talent.  Hunger games does right in casting Jennifer, Stanley Tucci (no one can do better than him in that role) and Lenny Kravitz, but IMHO it failed to do so for Peeta, Effie Trinket and Seneca. Peeta was taken just to give it the twilight like appeal i guess.  Haymitch guy is trying to act like The dude from Big Lebwoski, Jeff Bridges himself may have been a better choice.
Overall, the movie is a damn good movie, very true to novel, full of action and a wonderful soundtrack that gels very well with the movie. The actual game is handled quite nicely.  The only places where i think it lacked some credibility were - (a) Rue should have given one more scene to justify the effect, (b) The hunger aspect of hunger games does not out and also hunger in districts is not highlighted.
I also liked the handheld camera effect (close-ups and jarry motion) created throughout the movie. AFAIK, it was the Bourne movies which started this genre taken up nicely by Daniel Craig's Quantum of Solace and now copied everywhere. Fast editing also gives nice effects. 
I think this is as good a movie as you can make  from the script. And with the music, it is a treat to watch for those of us who are sucker for "good" masala movies.

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