Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review of The Hunger Games



The Hunger Games is expected to be the biggest block buster of the year.The movie is based on the novel by the same name, written by Suzanne Collins.  It's directed by Gary Ross and stars, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Other notables include, Amandla Stenberg, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland and Woody Harrelson.

The Hunger Games is set in a post apocalyptic North America, which has been divided into 13 sectors.  Each year, 24 tributes - 12 boys, and 12 girls are sent to fight to the death in the arena.  This is retribution for an uprising that occurred 74 years ago, and is supposedly meant to remind them of the horrors of war. When Katniss' sister Primrose is chosen, Katniss volunteers in her staid. Also chosen from district 12 is Peeta, the son of a baker.  Katniss and Peeta come from sector 12, which is a poor mining district.

They are provided with Haymitch, the only tribute ever to win from district 12 to train them.  Peeta understands immediately, that part of surviving is playing the game and being as likable as possible, while Katniss is only focused on the mechanics. Haymitch at first doesn't not seem very concerned with their well being and is only interested in getting drunk.

The capitol is very rich in comparison to the district. They have the latest in technology and the people seem to have time to groom themselves ridiculously. Katniss and Peeta prepare for the games, firm in the knowledge that only one of them will live, as there can only be one winner.  In the preparations, Katniss is stiff and it is only through the help of Cinna, the designer played by Lenny Kravitz that she manages to catch the crowds attention.

The novel is told entirely from Katniss' point of view, but the movie seems to tell the story without any introspection at all.  This gives the viewer no real reason to invest in Katniss or want her to win.  We know that she hunts for food, but we don't get any real sense of how hard her struggle is.  There is no background information on her relationship with Gale, and he could easily be her cousin, boyfriend or friend.  If I had not read the book, I would not have had any idea what their relationship was about.


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