The Hunger Games (2012) is a dystopian sci-fi action-drama movie based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins.
Synopsis: In a not-too-distant future, North America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. [by Suzanne Collins]
I haven't read the books but I'm pretty impressed with this young-adult fiction movie genre. Jennifer Lawrence is perfect as Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is a lethal character because she needs to survive and stay alive. At the same time, she has a heart of gold and she refuses to kill other participants (known as "tributes") unless she's threatened. Jennifer Lawrence portrays the character perfectly. P.S.: Kristen Stewart, for Bella's sake, you should learn from Jennifer Lawrence.
The other young actors also give convincing performance, in particular Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Katniss' fellow tribute from District 12.
The older cast is brilliant too, in particular:
- Woody Harrelson as Haymitch (Katniss' & Peeta's mentor)
- Elizabeth Banks as Effie (the eccentric Capitol escort who reminds me of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland)
- Lenny Kravitz as Cinna (Katniss & Peeta's stylist)
- Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman (the Capitol host of the 74th Hunger Games)
- Donald Sutherland as President Snow (the mastermind of the Hunger Games)
- Wes Bentley as Seneca (Head Gamemaker for the 74th Hunger Games)
Here are some pretty good remarks from movie critics:
- Move over Harry Potter. A darker, more mature franchise has come to claim your throne.
- Darker than 'Harry Potter,' more sophisticated than 'Twilight'.
- Grounded, thoughtful and sometimes quite emotional, with its dark scenario given due weight. The movie doesn't have a glossy, romanticized 'Hollywood' feel, but rather plays everything very realistically and stark, as Katniss must endure these outrageous and horrible scenarios.
This is definitely not a movie for the faint-hearted. It's dark, emotional, sad, and with only a few snippets of glamorous moments. There are so many elements that reminds me of the Auschwitz concentration camp (scenes of "reaping" session, i.e. the random drawing of names), the Olympic Games (scenes of training undergone by the "tributes"), and American Idol (scenes of the "tributes" on stage). The most gruesome and heartbreaking scenes are the kill-or-survive scenes in the jungle.
Lastly, the sentence that send shivers down your spine:
- Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.
I highly recommend this movie if you hate Twilight but still have faith in young-adult fiction movies. :)