After reading the books and seeing the previews for the film, I knew I had to try to score tickets to the Toronto premiere of Hunger Games at Scotiabank Theatre. The hustle began two months ago and I entered every contest I could find for premiere tickets. I ended up winning tickets in the very last contest I entered through @vivafilm (Alliance Atlantis’ Quebec division) on Twitter, just four days before the premiere, which took place on Monday March 19, 2012.
We arrived at the theatre almost two hours before the premiere and there were hundreds of fans outside the theatre and the Muchmusic headquarters, where some of the cast members were making an appearance. There was a lineup snaking around the corner for entry at the Scotiabank Theatre. As I had won tickets directly from Alliance, my friend Priscilla and I marched directly to the front of the line, told them that we won tickets and strolled right in (the power of the guest list!). Security was incredible and all electronic devices were taken from us and put into envelopes.
Prior to the start of the movie, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Alexander Ludwig made an appearance and said hello the crowd. There was a collective shriek from the teenage girls, followed by sighs as no one in the theatre had a phone or a camera to capture the moment. (Yes, we somehow lasted for 5 hours without our smartphones or cameras, which is why I only have two photos to mark the entire experience! Grr!).
I enjoyed the movie and I was really happy with the casting. Jennifer Lawrence was terrific as Katniss Everdeen and she played the character with the great balance of strength and vulnerability fans would expect. Another female favourite was Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, as she was perfect in her role as an eccentric PR official (who also had some of the best costumes in the movie). It was such a treat to see Woody Harrelson (Haymitch) and Lenny Kravitz (Cinna) in the movie as well (how does Lenny stay looking so young?!).
I was disappointed that they toned down the violence in the film to receive an appropriate rating, only because I felt that the desperation for survival was lost a little. I also wished that they would have included more about the history of the districts and the main characters in the film. The scenery, set design, costumes, makeup and music all came together brilliantly and if you’re a fan of the book series, you will enjoy seeing the books come to life. If you haven’t read the books yet and are planning on seeing it, I would highly suggest that you do, as you will enjoy the movie a whole lot more.
Many thanks to Valerie and the gang at Alliance for the tickets!