One is always hard-pressed to find a film just as amazing as the novel it was based on. As such, The Hunger Games will most probably not live up to the expectation of hardcore fans. But if you are a casual reader (or even a non-reader) like me, this movie is worth paying for, for some 2 hours of action, sci-fi, and romance.
Contrary to its name, The Hunger Games is not so much about competing for food than competing for freedom. Set in a post-apocalyptic and dystopian North America in the country of Panem, the story tells of the athletic Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her sacrifice in protecting her little sister, Primrose Everdeen from the horrors of growing up in District 12.
Every year, as punishment for attempting to overthrow the powerful Capitol, 1 male and female Tribute between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen from each of the 12 districts to participate in the gladiatorial Hunger Games – where they are forced to battle to the death until a victor is left.
As if children being forced to kill each other isn’t bad enough, the Hunger Games is regarded as televised entertainment by the Capitol, who constantly think up new ways of making the slaughter more “exciting”.
The first part of the film leading up to the Games is fantastic and awe-inspiring to say the least, but fans might be slightly disappointed at the lack of exposition during the action-packed second portion, when the Games begin. Being a PG-13 film, the battle scenes are less explicit and gory than described in the book.
However, the film possesses a fantastic storyline and of course, astounding acting from the main cast. Josh Hutcherson stars as Peeta Mellark, the male tribute who is selected to enter the games alongside Katniss. The two form an uneasy alliance, and the chemistry between the even-tempered Peeta and the (literally) fiery Katniss make for interesting watching. For the romantics, the duo share a rather intimate and sentimental cave scene which raised a couple of gasps in the audience.
A shaggy haired Woody Harrelson (Zombieland) stars as alcoholic mentor Haymitch, District 12’s only surviving victor of the Hunger Games. Singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz plays his first supporting role in a feature film as Cinna, the image consultant, stylist, and Katniss’s first friend in the Capitol. Another worthy mention is Stanley Tucci, who plays the energetic and charismatic emcee Caesar Flickerman, who gets close and personal during his interviews with the tributes.
If you’ve never read the books, go watch the movie this weekend and head right to the bookstore after. If you find yourself eagerly awaiting the next Hunger Games movie, join one of the fan sites covered in our previous article.
May the odds be ever in your favour!
[Photos © 2011 – Lionsgate]
Movie: The Hunger Games
Opens: Mar 22
Duration: 142 minutes
Age Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth