Monday, March 4, 2013

Review: The Hunger Games

                                           As A Hunger Games Fan, It Really Satisfied My Craving
                            Ever since I read the Hunger Games, I was immediately hooked to the series. When I went to go see the film adaptation, I was left pretty satisfied and left me even more excited for Catching Fire.

                           The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian future in the country called Panem. There are 12 districts in Panem that are controlled by the Capitol, and each year, each district will offer up a young boy and girl, between the ages of 12 and 18 in tribute to participate in a fight to the death known as The Hunger Games, where the one remaining victor will receive riches and glory.

                           In District 12, one of the poorest districts, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her sister's place as the district's female tribute. She and her fellow male tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are then trained by their drunken mentor and former victor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), and are pitted in a fight to the death against other children, including Careers, who are tributes that have trained for the games their whole life.

                          What I Liked About It:
                        Aside from the fact that it was quite faithful to the book, there were other things I liked about it. I'll start off with the acting. First and foremost, Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss PERFECTLY. She really captures this character's strength, vulnerability, and courage. Josh Hutcherson plays an amazing Peeta, and when I read the books, I knew they made the right choice in casting him, because he is perfect for this role. Woody Harrelson delivers a strong supporting performance as Haymitch, and like with Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, I can definitely see why they casted him in this role. Elizabeth Banks plays Katniss' and Peeta's Capitol escort, the flamboyant Effie Trinket and she delivers some nice comic relief, and has some great chemistry with Woody Harrelson. Stanley Tucci delivers a nice supporting performance as flamboyant talk show host Caesar Flickerman. He plays this character with bubbly energy and a bit of warmth underneath his charismatic exterior.

                      Now, I'll talk about a couple actors that to me, really stood out. First is Lenny Kravitz, who portrays Katniss' stylist Cinna. While you are watching him on screen, you really forget that you're watching Lenny Kravitz the musician. Now, I've always been a Lenny Kravitz fan, but he really amazed me in this.

                     Next, there is Isabelle Fuhrman, who portrays the malicious District 2 tribute Clove. She not only embodies her character, but in her big scene, she represents the other Career tributes, whereas they are psychopaths, but they are still just as scared as them. They are excited to kill these other children, but at the end of the day, they are still kids themselves. With Fuhrman's performance in this and Orphan, I can honestly say that she is one of best young actresses working today, among the likes of Chloe Grace Moretz and Saoirse Ronan.

                 Another thing I really liked about this film was the set designs that represent different social classes. First the film takes place in District 12, which is very poor and run down, then the film takes us to the Capitol, where everything and everyone looks futuristic, and is where the rich reside. It shows that when you have money in this world, you are living the high life, but if you're poor, you're lucky to have a box to sleep in.

                What I Didn't Like About It:
               While I did enjoy this film as a whole, as both a faithful adaptation of the book and as a film in general, my only issue was with the shaky-cam technique. I get that they were trying to make the action scenes a bit jumpy to receive a PG-13 rating, but it was just a bit distracting. Other than that, there's nothing else I hate about this film.

              Overall, The Hunger Games is an entertaining sci-fi spectacle that works as a faithful adaptation of the book, a film, and social commentary. I enjoyed every single minute of it, and right after the movie was over, I remember saying "Bring on Catching Fire!"

Rating: 5/5