Can it be March 23, like, tomorrow? If you are any kind of Hunger Games fan, you’ve probably watched the trailer 20 times by now (assuming we haven’t all crashed the iTunes trailer site). And now I feel I can admit that until seeing it, I was still a little bit afraid. Afraid that, despite the best efforts of Gary Ross, Jennifer Lawrence and company, there was no way a movie could give me the same chills as Suzanne Collins‘ books. But wow. I think they really can do it now. And here’s why.
1. Katniss is brave and scared, tough and vulnerable. Jennifer Lawrence has said that she told Ross she didn’t want to look like a badass when she shot an arrow, and she doesn’t. There is thankfully no voiceover to explain Katniss’ complex emotions as she sacrifices herself for her sister, decides that she can’t afford to befriend Peeta and struggles with the idea that she’s not just a girl in a fight for survival, but a girl in a nationally televised fight for survival against other children.
2. Nothing is overly romanticized or overly vilified. The idyllic scene of Gale and Katniss hunting is immediately marred by the hovercraft. Their first view of the evil Capitol is made beautiful by a sunrise. This is no comic book world of obvious good and evil, and that makes it all the scarier.
3. The glimpse of little Rue cut between the shots of the career tributes in training reminds us that this isn’t just a straightforward action movie. We’re about to watch children kill each other.
4. The wacky characters — Effie, Haymitch, Caesar — have a serious undertone to them. Effie and Caesar look as sinister as they do comical. Haymitch is both goofy and sad. Again, this movie isn’t falling into the trap of creating cartoon good and evil.
5. We see things that Katniss could only imagine in the book. Gale alone on the hill in their hunting grounds. District 12 watching the Games on a Jumbotron.
6. We can already see some of the details fans of the book will be looking for — like Katniss grabbing the backpack from the Cornucopia. But unlike the book, where scenes are stretched out with detailed descriptions, we see them in high speed, as they must be happening in the Games.
7. After all these multiple viewings, that whistled Mockingjay tune at the end still sends shivers down our spines.
Now pardon us while we go see if Michelle at Best Week Ever needs medical attention after watching 100+ times.
What do you think of the trailer? Is it missing something you were dying to see? Talk about it in the comments!