Posted by: ckckred | March 25, 2012

The odds are in your favor for The Hunger Games

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the Reaping

While watching The Hunger Games, one thing came to my mind.  How could Lionsgate, the same studio that made those awful Twilight movies make something as good as The Hunger Games?

I happened to read The Hunger Games right before the movie came out and pleasantly enjoyed about it.  Suzanne Collins, the author of the novel, also co-wrote the screenplay of the film.  The movie sticks very closely to the novel, which helps the film out.

The Hunger Games takes place in the post-apocolyptic North America.  Out of North America, a new country has risen called Panem, which has a capital and 13 surrounding districts.  A war breaks out between the districts and the capital, which the capital wins and destroys the 13th district (which isn’t mentioned in the film).  In punishment, the capital forces each district to send a boy and girl between 12 and 18 to compete in a competition called the Hunger Games, where all 24 tributes fight to the death.  At the reaping, the capital picks the tributes to fight in the Hunger Games.

The main character, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), is a 16 year old girl from district 12. When her 12 year old sister Prim is chosen for the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her place.  The other tribute from District 12 is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), who once gave Katniss a loaf of bread when he saw her outside in the rain.

Katniss and Peeta are led by Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), who won the Hunger Games many years ago.  Haymitch is a known drunk, but helps Katniss and Peeta out and gives them advice.  At the same time, Katniss encounters people from the Capital such as Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), who picked the tributes for District 12, talk show host Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), and gamemaker Seneca (Wes Bentley).  All the people from the capital are dressed in weird clothing and makeup, as to convey the strangeness of the capital.

The Hunger Games is an attack on reality television, such as Survivor and American Idol, and people’s over obsession about it.  Both the novel and film shine a negative light on the topic, as the contenders betray each other and slaughter each other while the people of the Capital broadcast the entire event on television.  Collins lifts up the curtain to show audiences the cruelty behind reality-TV.

I have a deep-sea hatred for reality-television, so I was immediately thrilled by this part of the book.  The movie adapts it well, and even increases it (one part show the odds of the tributes winning).

The Hunger Games is a very good film, which features a strong performance by Jennifer Lawrence (who was nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for Winter’s Bone) and story.  Director Gary Ross (who also made Pleasentville) successfully adapts the novel for the big screen without taking away its likability and charm.  The odds are in your favor for The Hunger Games.


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