Disclaimer: I have been talking to my husband aka The Chemical Engineer quite a lot about The Hunger Games, I also showed him this particular post from YA Confidential which he found hilarious. And then I thought it’d be interesting to have him write a guest post sharing his (not so serious) views on the movie as somebody who hasn’t read the books, doesn’t really read fiction and sometimes gives me a hard time cos’ I read too many books a month Looking forward to your comments (yes, Chemical Engineer, I am leaving you the floor, stop figeting!)
A Young Engineer’s (not so serious) Review of The Hunger Games Movie…
Just so I can still keep my manhood intact let me mention that my wife got (forced) me to go and watch the movie with her.
First things first: I don’t want to (and can’t) compare the movie with the book. I haven’t read the book. My wife read a few chapters to me while I was falling asleep, trying to get me interested in reading it. It didn’t work despite the fact that it worked for one of her blog friends; I don’t read fictional books, I wait until the good ones come out as a movie. This strategy has worked out well for me. I tried to remember when the last time was that I read a book and watched the movie based on the same book. It seems to be about 11 years ago in high school. I am not sure it counts though, the book was Othello and the Movie was O (a modern interpretation). But since novels and movies serve the same purpose, entertainment, but do it through a very different way, I find it pointless to compare the two. I do have to mention one thing about comparing the two:
When there is a shower scene described in the book (on the train to the Capitol): How dare do you leave that out of the movie? I get the whole PG-13 rating, etc., but how can you do such a thing as a movie director! Shame on you Mr. Gary Ross!!!
In general the movie was quite entertaining and for the most part kept my attention. Obviously having cool guys like Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz helps with that.
The story in itself is pretty good. Showing the young adults as regular teenagers with fears and joys and then having them fight until death is quite compelling. Even though the underlying story of individuals who can change the world by starting a revolution unintentionally is probably older than literature itself. As long as the packaging is right, who am I to weigh heavily on an old literature cliché – After all I am just an engineer.
Speaking of packaging, here are two things that I didn’t get about the movie:
- So they all live in a very advanced society with scanners that analyze your blood right away, with dresses that burn like fire but still safe and with hovering space ships… Why in the world would you travel by train for almost an entire day instead of taking a space ship? I get that district 12 is not as developed as the Capitol, but this still wouldn’t explain why a space ship couldn’t fly in and just pick them up!
- Staying with the thought of a dystopian society that is technologically progressed. Why in the world would you still be mining coal? Do they have a little coal burner inside those space ships? So they developed all of this technology and still are bound to use coal. Really? Just think about this for a second. They spend all of this energy developing new technology that probably consumes even more energy and the only solution that they could find to fulfill their energy demand was coal? I understand that it was important for the story that the residents of District 12 had to be manual laborers, but couldn’t they have been robot-mechanics or some kind of electrical circuit makers (like the ones working on making our smart phones).
I know you probably think it is not important for the whole story, but I think a writer or director (again I can’t compare the books) should take the time and think through such details in order to make it more coherent (at least for me).
It helps if a writer is married to engineer that can double check the story