Movie Review: The Hunger Games

By Kendyll Boucher

Unless you live under a rock, or don’t pay any attention to popular culture, you’ve heard of The Hunger Gamestrilogy.  Chances are you’ve read the books, or at least heard your friends talk about them incessantly.  The hype surrounding the series grew exponentially last year when Lionsgate bought the rights to the trilogy and began production on the film adaption of the first book.
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, written by Suzanne Collins, topped all the best selling charts.  The books and the movies seemed to come out at the perfect time.  The Harry Potter series ended last summer, and hype for The Twilight Saga was fading, so young adults were searching for the next franchise to support—and they found it in The Hunger Games.
Photo by andpop.com
This story takes place in North America post-apocalypse. The country is broken up into twelve districts and a capitol. There used to be thirteen districts, but District Thirteen was wiped out after they repelled. To remember this revolt and to instill fear in the residents, every year there is the Hunger Games tournament in which two tributes from each district-–a boy and a girl—are chosen at random to fight to the death in a televised event.
On March 23, The Hunger Games opened in theaters.  As an avid fan of the books series, I was worried about how this movie would turn out.  Book adaptations tend to disappoint me.  Usually there’s just too much plot in a book to cover in a two and a half hour movie.  I didn’t have high expectations.
But shortly into the movie, I was pleasantly surprised.  The Hunger Games movie did justice to the book.  It definitely helped that Suzanne Collins, the author of the trilogy, co-wrote the screenplay with the director, Gary Ross.  Every important plot point was in the film.  It was impeccably casted as well. Jennifer Lawrence plays the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen.  She volunteers as tribute to enter the Hunger Games after her little sister Prim is chosen.  Lawrence is remarkable in this film.  She perfectly embodies Katniss’ determined and serious demeanor.  Josh Hutcherson portrays Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from District Twelve.  Liam Hemsworth plays Gale Hawthorne, the childhood friend of Katniss. Each of the leads gave a strong performance, and captured the essences of their characters.
The Hunger Games covers some heavy subject matter—like children brutally murdering each other.  The first scene in the Games shows twelve of the tributes dying, and many of them are young kids. The scene in the book was horrible and violent, and many people speculated how it would be executed on screen.  Ross did a very good job executing it.  The scene was still haunting and sad, but he managed to evoke those feelings in the audience without showing much violence.
The Hunger Games raked in $155 million during its opening weekend. It was the biggest opening for a non-sequel movie ever and it’s already generating Oscar buzz.  This was a fantastic film, and I would recommend it to anyone, including those who aren’t familiar with the book.  If you haven’t seen it yet, get yourself to the theater because it will be well worth you eleven-dollar admission ticket.

 

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