Cert: 12A Runtime: 142 mins Director: Gary Ross Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci
May the odds be ever in your favour
Recently the advertising campaign of The Hunger Games has baffled me, it has that feeling of a futuristic Twilight but at the same time a hint of realism. Many of my friends have said that The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is a fantastic read but I stayed away from it. Many critics have given very positive feedback, so I dived right in to see what the fuss is about.In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When Prim (Willow Shileds), is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) her older sister volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.
The Hunger Games have begun and the odds are definitely in director Gary Ross’s favor as he has managed to adapt Suzanne Collins’s bestselling novel really well to the big screen. Ross has delivered a highly entertaining post apocalyptic, sci-fi, action, romantic thriller. Most fans seem to be satisfied with this film because it is truly entertaining and has a little bit of everything for those people who are looking for action, or for those who are more interested in the romantic story, and so on. It also has a great cast and the lead performance from Jennifer Lawrence is just brilliant. She captures the ideal female heroine who we all want to root for. She is truly the girl on fire. It comes as no surprise since Lawrence blew us all away with her performance in a small independent film called Winter’s Bone. She has already turned into a true star and proves she can have a lead role in what looks to be a very successful trilogy. The rest of the cast is also pretty interesting as you have great actors like Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Toby Jones, and Donald Sutherland, along with young talented actors like Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, and Alexander Ludwig. They’ve really done justice to the characters that were created by Collins, and I can’t forget to mention Lenny Kravitz who was also excellent as Cinna. As good as all these actors were, Jennifer Lawrence was above par and she really delivered the story and brought a lot of heart to her character. A great deal of the success this movie is having can be owed to her remarkable performance as Katniss.
Once the Hunger Games begin the audience is immediately submersed into the story and Katniss’s struggle for survivor. The story is really well told and there are plenty of thrills and suspense for the audience to enjoy. The two and a half hour long movie has such a quick pace that by the end it will seem like you were only in there for an hour. The games are really that interesting and have you at the edge of your seat for almost the entire movie. I really enjoyed the pacing of this film along with the performances. It is hard to get a lot of character development with a movie that has so many things going on and that focuses almost entirely on Katniss, but we really do grow to care for several of these characters that have to face off each other. Of course there is no time to really know all 24 of them, because the story centers on Katniss and Peeta. There is sort of a love triangle going on, but the film really doesn’t delve in too deep with it. We will probably have more of that in the upcoming sequels, but most of the scenes involving Katniss don’t have to be spelled out for us. She delivers such a great performance that we can hear what she’s saying without ever having to say anything. We can read what she’s saying through her eyes alone. When I heard about the story I thought this was going to be a violent film, but it really doesn’t focus on the violence as much as it does on surviving. I really enjoyed every second of this film and it is one of my favorite films of the year so far.