Crafty Stories

I like to tell stories through the creative arts. I may be slightly obsessed with books, movies, TV shows, yarn and fiber. Wanna hang out?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

This post will henceforth be also known as:

My Public Apology to Josh Hutcherson

Last night I finally saw The Hunger Games in my local theater. I'd been waiting a week mostly to avoid obnoxious crowds, but of course I was waiting long before that for this movie to arrive.

SPOILER ALERT: My apologies to those of you (living under a rock, I presume?) who haven't read these books or watched this movie yet. I plan to discuss the movie in full in this post so you may want to stop reading here if you plan to watch it in the future (which you should, SERIOUSLY).

I have to admit, before this movie came out, I was pretty upset about the casting. I had no trouble picturing Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, and I was excited to see Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. But Josh Hutcherson as Peeta? I just couldn't get behind it.

I'd seen this actor in other movies, namely Cirque du Freak, Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Kids Are Alright. I thought he did a fine job in those roles, but I really didn't think he could do Peeta justice.

I am here today to tell you that I was so very, very wrong. 

I loved this movie; I loved almost everything about it. As an avid fan of movies that were inspired by books, I know that sometimes the movies are a great representation of the book and sometimes they're an epic fail. I had high expectations for The Hunger Games along with all of its other fans, and this movie did NOT disappoint.

Was it 100% true to the book, in the sense that it quoted every page? No. I'm okay with that, though, because I feel a movie needs to be a little bit different than the book for a lot of reasons. There were behind-the-scenes moments in the movie, like Haymitch bargaining with the sponsors and President Snow's conversations with the Game Maker, that you wouldn't read in the book because it was told from Katniss's perspective. I enjoyed these additions and thought they really rounded out the story.

Most of the actors portrayed their characters really well. Just before the start of the Games Lenny Kravitz had me tearing up as Cinna; the look on Liam Hemsworth's (Gale) face as he carried Willow Shields (Prim) away from the Reaping was priceless. I could totally picture Woody Harrelson as drunk-and-bitter adult Haymitch with the younger, craftier, former Victor version of himself just under the surface. Wes Bentley has long been a favorite actor of mine, and his portrayal of Game Maker Seneca Crane was wonderful, right down to the kick-ass beard.

The one actor who totally stole this show for me, though, was Josh Hutcherson. His portrayal of Peeta was spot-on; he brought out aspects of Peeta that I didn't even consider in the book version. The way he chatted up Caesar Flickerman in the interviews to bring himself favor from the sponsors was boyishly adorable. When Katniss kissed him in the cave my heart sank at the look of shocked glee on his face, and I felt the exact same emotion during their victor's interview with Flickerman and their ride home on the train. When he said "I don't want to forget," I realized that I didn't want to forget, either - not this amazing movie and not his performance in it. 

In this movie, Josh Hutcherson reminded me why I am, now and forever, firmly planted among the ranks of Team Peeta.

My "Peeta" colorway on BFL top
 And a few years from now, when I hear him say, "You love me - real or not real?" I know that my heart will melt in all the right ways.

I'm sorry I ever doubted that Josh Hutcherson could bring this character to life. I promise I'm not going to go all Cougar-like on him, though he is adorable; I just really appreciated the way he played this role. I apologize for doubting, and will henceforth trust in the awesomeness that is this movie and this role. ;)

Thank you, Mr. Hutcherson, and the rest of the cast of The Hunger Games. Thank you for bringing these characters to life for me, for letting me spend a little more time with one of my favorite stories.

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