Okay, let’s admit something right off the bat. This concept of adapting the last book of a YA series into two movies needs either to die or to be dramatically improved. So far, it really just looks like the studios try to cash in on their YA franchises for just one more year and it makes the titles uncomfortably long for no reason. But let’s not get off track. The Hunger Games. Whether you’re a fan of the franchise or not, you’ve probably heard of it and you may even have an opinion on it. The first part of the last installment is coming out this month and the Buns wanted to share their enthusiasm with the rest of the world.
•The book is amazing. Most people I talk to prefer The Hunger Games over Catching Fire or Mockingjay, but they’re wrong. In the third book, political intrigue grows into explosive rebellion. This is where The Hunger Games separates itself not just from other good Young Adult fiction, but other kid carnage stuff, like the film Battle Royale (2010). There are complex themes being investigated in these stories that give depth and life to the characters. It’s good guys, it’s so good.
•Peeta’s journey really begins. This little love story gets dark. Katniss may have been pretending to have feelings for Peeta, but regardless of any romance between them, she loves him. How could you survive the experience of the Hunger Games with someone and not want them to be safe and happy for the rest of their lives? Peeta’s path is long and twisted and things go from bad to worse to unimaginably terrible very quickly for him. I love Peeta so hard.
•Casting continues to be amazing. Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Plutarch Heavensbee, and Julianne Moore, as President Coin, are going to rock our world. Especially in the wake of his death, scenes with Philip Seymour Hoffman are going to be emotionally charged for us audience members. It’s going to be hard to watch. It’s going to be war.
•The Hunger Games is one of, if not the best YA film series out there at the moment. Despite its many flaws, the series is way above all the Givers and Divergents that Hollywood throws at us every two months. The Hunger Games is a story about freedom and rebellion that has a lot of heart and creativity. I liked Catching Fire more than I liked The Hunger Games and Mockingjay and I prefer Mockingjay to The Hunger Games. My problem with the first book is that it was a bit too similar to Battle Royale (the book and the manga) for me not to cringe a little bit while I was reading it. The shift in genres in Catching Fire and Mockingjay was most welcome.
•Katniss. The Hunger Games is one of the few series that I like better as movies, this for a very simple reason. In the books, the point of view is internal: we see everything through Katniss’ eyes. The problem is that Katniss, in the books, is not a very relatable or even reliable character. Still, I completely understand that she went through a lot and did not come out from undamaged from what happened to her. Katniss’ mental issues were actually one of my favourite elements in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I am looking forward to seeing Jennifer Lawrence play a psychologically and emotionally disturbed Katniss. I am just also happy that I won’t have to be inside her head for two hours and a half.
•The cast (again)! I am particularly excited about Natalie Dormer and Julianne Moore. Julianne Moore is one of my favourite actresses. She can pretty much rock any role she’s given (see Children Of Men and, more recently, Don Jon, to realize the kind of acting range she possesses). Natalie Dormer is, as usual, playing a powerful and mischievous girl rocking one of the best hipster looks I’ve seen in years. She has a scalp tattoo. A. Scalp. Tattoo.