This is one lottery that you wouldn’t want to win..
Based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games focuses on Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a teenage girl living in “District 12,” one of the fenced-in Districts in what was once America but has since become a totalitarian state, traumatised by chronic food shortages and ruled by the wickedness and unsympatheic head state called The Capitol.
The film is set 74 years after a popular uprising that failed to overthrow a corrupt, centralized federal government, and during that uprising the 13th District was destroyed. As a way of maintaining control over the 12 remaining Districts, as punishment the Capitol holds an annual event called The Hunger Games, in which each District chooses a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete in a contest. The contest has one simple but sick rule, 24 go in but only one can come out. The winner’s district will be showered with fame, fortune and more importantly food.
When young Primrose Everdeen is chosen as tribute (what The Capitol likes to call the doomed children) at the District 12 “reaping,” her big sister, Katniss, volunteers to be a tribute in her place. Katniss is joined by fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a physically strong but emotionally weak baker’s son, and the two embark on a seemingly one way trip to the Capitol to face off other district competitors. Blessed with guidance from District 12 resident Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) , a drunk but knowledgable man and the only Hunger Games winner to come from District 12, stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), and chaperone Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), Katniss and Peeta quickly discover that to survive the games they’ll need more than just the skills they came with.
From the initial bloodshed due to the rush of the weapons by the 24 tributes, to the doomed but beautiful friendship between Katniss and Rue, Katniss embodies her role as a heroine and female empowerment.
President Snow (Donald Sutherland) brings the appropriate menace as the main villain of the franchise who gets a few additional scenes in the film not seen in the book. Stanley Tucci is amusingly eerie as games host Caesar Flickman, the ever smiling, falsely sympathetic host each contestant must speak to before entering the games. Wes Bentley plays the part of Gamemaker Seneca Crane, ruthless with a wonderful hairdo.
Like any adaptation, there are a few changes between the novel and the film, but they all serve the storytelling. Seeing what goes on outside of the arena and Katniss’s perspective add to the overall experience.
The use of camera is quick and the frantic cuts probably helped the film maintain a PG-13 rating, given all the teenagers that die on camera, but as a result, the film is short on captivating battle choreography or epic one-on-one confrontations. Instead of large-scale action set pieces, the movie presents a story about Katniss surviving and often cowering and not really hunting down her fellow tributes, and because of that, the games portion could proved to be at moments, underwhelming.
I for one would have preferred the film to have a cert15, then at least it could have been a little more gory and bring the fight scenes read in the book to life.
Unlike the stars of other book adaptations like, Harry Potter and Twilight, Jennifer Lawrence has already proved her worth after starring in the amazing ”Winters Bones”, to which she received an Oscar nomination. No stiff actress here!
I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing that we could have seen some more from Gale (Liam Hemsworth), to see if he is as good as his older brother in the art of acting.
Ahhh There is so much I could write about this film but I would be giving most of it away, but people you HAVE to see this movie.
Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley
Runtime: 142 mins
Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light x