While I do think that Jennifer Lawrence is a wonderful actress and looks great with dark hair, and while I think that she did a very good job of playing this character, there is a problem.
In the book, she’s described as being olive-skinned with thick, straight black hair and gray eyes. There’s this whole very nice bit about how the upper class in District 12 is very very White and the divide between the merchant class and the miners. That’s completely erased in the movie.
I found the treatment of Katniss’s PTSD in the movie to be marginally better than the treatment of her PTSD in the book—which isn’t saying much, since in the book it was basically nonexistent.
I found, however, that the treatment of her trauma in the movie was very inconsistent—when shooting turkeys, she sees Marvel, the only boy she killed in the games, and understandably flips her shit about it. When shooting holograms in training or actual human beings, she seemed to have no qualms about it. This may be the fault of the source material, but the whole thing seriously smacks of protagonist-centered morality and selectively appearing mental issues.
I did not find there to be any significant character development of Katniss in this movie, although the movie was significantly less angsty than the book. So thumbs up for that.
Before anyone says anything, I totally call dibs on Liam Hemsworth.
Anyways. I was kind of disappointed that Gale’s family wasn’t in the movie at all, since there was this whole part about him and his mom supporting his siblings, but I do understand there wasn’t a whole lot of time in the movie. It’s not like it was handled very well in the book, so maybe it’s better that it was just left out.
I thought there was a really nice dissonance between how dirty and run-down Gale was and how clean and proper Katniss was, as shown when she hugged him after the victory tour. This was best shown as Gale was washing the coal dust off his hands while watching Peeta’s proposal to Katniss. It really signifies the rift between Gale and Katniss in a way that words could not have.
Again there was the issue with the fact that Gale was White as can be, but it’s not like we should’ve expected anything better from Hollywood. Gale is still the character through which most of the commentary on class is made, but again, most of the (not very subtle, since this is YA) class and race commentary was forfeited for the sake of flashy graphics and action.
Thankfully, besides a couple of very contrived kissing scenes, the love triangle was actually blissfully absent from this movie. I expect it will be back in full swing for movies three and four.
All my hate, Peeta. All my hate.
While the rape subtext is not as prominent in this movie as it was in the last one, and not nearly as forceful as it was in the books, it’s definitely still there. Starting in movie one, Peeta has this insane plot to keep them alive that basically involves fucking with Katniss’s emotions regardless of what she wants. Everything would’ve been a thousand times better if Peeta had simply let Katniss in on his asinine plan, but no, we can’t have that.
I will give Josh Hutcherson this–he’s a very talented actor.
I don’t have much else to say about Peeta, at least without giving too many spoilers. I thought the “what about me, Katniss, what about my family?” moment was actually very nice, since in my mind it lampshaded the protagonist-centered morality prevalent throughout the book.
I love Effie. I really do. Elizabeth Banks is an awesome actress and does a fantastic job of portraying just how strained Effie really is. This movie is significantly better in its portrayal of Effie than the first one was, and much better than the book. In the book she’s relentlessly slut-shamed and shown as being shamefully fake.
Honestly, I think her outfits are the greatest.