I’ve convinced so many people to read The Hunger Games in hopes that at least one of them will see it with me on March 23 that I lost count of how many movie dates I have. Unfortunately, that was before I saw all the coverage online and in Entertainment Weekly. I have my fingers crossed that the movie will not disappoint, but here are five reasons why I’m nervous that it will.
#1. Costume Design
I know everyone envisions something different when they read a novel, however, I never imagined The Hunger Games would resemble the beloved 1980 sci-fi musical The Apple. Why does Effie Trinket look like she was plucked right out of the Ballet 2000, and the Capitol guards look like they belong on an episode of Buck Rogers? Gary Ross’s vision of the future is what people thought 2012 would like in the 60s.
#2 Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
Cinna may be low key compared to Katniss’s wacky prep team, but that doesn’t mean he has to be a bore. We’re talking about the guy who designs outfits that literally change the world. Not the guy who helps deliver a baby for Precious. So why does he look like he just finished shopping at The Gap? I really had high hopes for the fashion this film would create, especially considering what an essential part of the story the fashion designers are, but early photos of the cast make me nervous. If Katniss’s two important costume reveals blow, so will The Hunger Games, and casting Lenny Kravitz as Cinna isn’t a good sign that they will get them right.
#3. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
What happens when you hand over something like The Hunger Games to someone who wrote Mr. Baseball? You get Roy Munson from Kingpin, not Haymitch Abernathy from the novel. Ross said Woody Harrelson was the only person he had in mind for the role, proving he is a blind man, and has no vision. I’m surprised he didn’t cast Dakota Fanning as Katniss.
#4. Capitol Gadgetry
According to producer Nina Jacobson the Capitol’s futuristic gadgetry will be basically M.I.A. from the film. How can the future look like an episode of the Jetsons but not feature any cool futuristic toys? I admit some of the gadgets, like mysterious floating gifts sent from sponsors, is farfetched, but downplaying the futuristic elements could be a bad move.
#5. The Movie’s Direction
The makers of The Hunger Games movie don’t seem to know what they’re promising. They don’t want to glamorize the violence, or the love triangle, or make the movie look too futuristic, but they also don’t want to make a cheesy flick geared towards teens The Hunger Games needs to have a PG-13 rating to be successful with its audience of pre-teens, so it obviously wasn’t artistic vision that guided the decision to downplay the violence. I’m sure all they had in mind was the box office.
Many people will try to tell you The Hunger Games was much more than a love triangle, which could not be further from the truth. Suzanne Collins’ books glossed over the violence and doom and gloom of a futuristic dystopian society, especially for something she boasted as an “anti-war story”. The Hunger Games is not The Handmaid’s Tale, or Battle Royale. It’s Twilight set in a post-apocolyptic world, with characters playing The Most Dangerous Game instead of being vampires. If the movie isn’t about violence, a love triangle, or a futuristic world, what is it going to be about? The soundtrack featuring Taylor Swift and Kid Cudi?
The books and the movie are obviously geared towards tweens and teens. Promising anything else is misleading. The love triangle is what drives the books, and it’s what kept teens reading. If you disagree with me, just remember medicine and bread doesn’t fall from the sky when you’re starving.