Sunday, April 1, 2012

Movie Review - The Hunger Games

Last weekend I had the chance of watching The Hunger Games. It is based on the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy. According to my sis, the books were recommended by Twilight author Stephanie Meyer, making it anticipated by Twi-Hards as well. I read it made USD152.5 million on its opening weekend. That makes it right behind The Dark Knight for list of highest grossing weekend ever. The film stars today's rising young stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. as well as big names like Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson. Read on after the break for my review of the movie.

The movie is tells the story of how in the future, North America is divided into 13 districts and is controlled by the Capitol district after waging wars with the other districts. To remind them of Capitol's supremacy, an annual Hunger Games is held where 2 representatives from the each of the other 12 districts have to fight to the death to be crowned a winner. This year, from District 12, Primrose Everdeen, a first timer, was selected as the female representative. However, her sister, Katniss stepped in to volunteer instead. For the male representative, Peeta Mellark was selected. From here, they trained with District 12's only winner, Haymitch Abernathy from fighting to survival skills. The rest of the film follows the 2 individuals on their quest to emerge winners of the Hunger Games amongst the representatives from the other 11 districts.

The film itself stretches to 2 and a half hours. The first hour itself was spent to introduce the premise and characters. However, I felt this could've been shortened. I was still a bit lost about the story even with the elaborate introduction. It does feel that the movie took forever to take off. Then comes the 2nd hour where the games starts and things start to get exciting. Don't expect it to have such mind-blowing action sequences. It's more subtle and straight-forward. It focuses more on the relationship of the 2 main characters and how they try to change the rules of the game. I felt the game went by too quick though with the death of the last tribute being too easy.

 The actors and actresses executed their roles quite convincingly. I especially enjoyed Stanley Tucci's portrayal of the show's host. Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson played their role well albeit having minimal screen time and less storyline. Initially I didn't feel the chemistry between the 2 main characters but it became more convincing in later part of the movie. Production-wise I felt the game location was a bit bland. It doesn't really look cinematic enough, just a normal forest setting with same backdrop recycled. Perhaps since the film did well, they can invest more into the sets.

Compared to Twilight series, this is definitely a better movie. The story is well structured and has a deep message. Some even considered it political. I would definitely recommend a watch by everyone. Twi-hards would definitely enjoy this.