I finally got a chance to watch The Hunger Games over the weekend. By now you’ve all seen it. Well, this review is for the few of you haven’t. Before I delve into my experience of the film, let me give you a brief synopsis.
The film is based on the trilogy of the same name written by author Suzanne Collins. The first book introduces us to Katniss Everdeen, a resident of a post-apocalyptic world, where society is divided into twelve different districts. The districts are surrounded by a wealthy city, called Capital. Every year, a television show, The Hunger Games, selects two residents from each district, one boy and one girl, to compete in a reality show. The contestants, called tributes, are selected to compete as a result of past rebellion against the government by their districts. The show happens to be centered around a fight to the death, with the winning contestant being the sole survivor. The one who has successfully escaped death.At the beginning of the film, Katniss’ little sister Primrose is drawn to compete in The Hunger Games. However, she is saved by Katniss’ brave decision to take her place on the show. Katniss, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, is joined by Peeta Mallark, their district’s male tribute. They leave for Capital under the guidance of Haybitch Abernathy, former victor and mentor to the two tributes of District Twelve. Haybitch, played to drunken perfection by Woody Harrelson, is immediately concerned about Katniss’ lack of likeability. The more viewers like you during the show, the more sponsors you’ll get. The prize? You get to survive longer and possibly win the series.
During their training, Katniss pulls a bold move to get the judges attention and possibly up her rating in the competition. Will it work? Peeta, on the other hand, has no problem with being likeable. The character, played by Josh Hutcherson, quickly endears himself to the audience. When questioned during the telecast before going into the game, he mentions that he’s in love with Katniss. The producers immediately see this as a chance to bill them as “star-crossed lovers”. Damn those reality show producers!
Upon entering the game, the audience quickly learns that the producers have orchestrated the surrounds to manipulate the contestants’ actions. At the start, they have a decision to run for shelter or gain an advantage and acquire some weapons. Peeta runs into the woods, scared for his life. What will Katniss do? The initial countdown leads to immediate bloodshed, eliminating the weakest players. In the woods, Katniss befriends a little girl, Rue, who ultimately dies. Their budding friendship will save Katniss later in the game. The scenes between Katniss and Rue really show why Jennifer Lawrence was the perfect actress for the role. She is a raw talent, and portrays the reluctant heroine to perfection. She’s captivating to watch,. I can’t even imagine a different actress in the role. The director managed to maintain Katniss’ integrity while trying to fight for her life.
The film has many plot twists that are really enjoyable, and seem surprisingly realistic. I really don’t want to give away anything more. This is a movie that you really should go and watch this year. I also believe the fact that I haven’t read the books added to my enjoyment of the film. Without having read the book, I went to watch the movie without any preconceived notions. In fact, I didn’t even know what the movie was really about. The movie is offset with great superb performances by Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Alexander Ludwig and the great Donald Sutherland, who plays President Coriolanus Snow. Yes, if someone asks, I’m team Peeta.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I suggest you do before it finishes its run. It will be a while before the DVD release.