Review: The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is the long anticipated film about youths fighting in a competition til the death. Will you be left hungry for more, or so full you need to throw up?
The Hunger Games is set in a future version of North America, where everyone is struggling to put food on the table except one small wealthy city which rules above every other district. Every year, one boy and one girl from each district are selected at random to fight to the death in the Hunger Games for this wealthy city to watch. This year, Katniss Everdeen breaks the mould and changes the game for good.
Worked from an adaptation of the book with the same name, Director Gary Ross begins with establishing its setting in the first minute. Panem is a futuristic America which sees some interesting beards and bursts of beautiful colours on the every day attire, think Chris Tuckers character in The Fifth Element but more. Opening with two males discussing the games it gives you a taste of what’s to come. It then cuts to District 12 – a more dull and bleak setting where we see Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) in her daily struggle to keep her family fed. We see her lovingly looking after her younger sister and then setting off into forbidden territory to catch prey. It’s obvious the girl has skills when you see her with her bow and arrow. In the first 15 minutes you instantly feel a connection to Katniss and when it emerges for her to enter The Hunger Games unknowing whether she will survive to return to her adorable younger sister or not, you genuinely want her to win. Her melancholy determination and her uncertainty in herself is definitely a plot driver.
Ross has shown to use an old but highly effective trick by portraying brutality without actually showing it. The use of handheld camera work throughout makes it incredibly easy for him to zip around the action giving you a weird satisfaction that gore is a given without offending younger eyes.
Although after hearing that The Hunger Games had epic scenes cut to bring it into the 12A rating, partially thinking it would let down viewers over the age of 18. Then noticing the film was pretty much two and a half hours long and the normal attention span of the general public (including myself) being 100 minutes max, it was unsure whether the hilarious Woody Harrelson would keep the interest. Actually, time seemed to fly by and my hunger for gore somehow was kept at bay with the excellent camera work. It will be interesting to see whether an extended cut with the more graphic scenes will be released with the DVD/Blu-ray or not.
The best book to film adaptions are when the writer, in this case Suzanne Collins, works alongside the director to create something that not only pleases the masses of movie lovers but doesn’t disappoint the lovers of the original novel.
It’s definitely worth keep your eyes peeled for Lionsgate Entertainment’s 2nd installment of The Hunger Games, likely to be titled along with the second book as Catching Fire late next year.
The Hunger Games is out in cinemas now.
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