Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Directed by: Gary Ross
Running Time: 142 minutes
Every year there's a new hype movie and lately movies based on young adult book series have made a consistent appearance. I've never read this series, but I was somewhat familiar with its popularity from my previous job. The good thing about young adult book movies is having the reassurance that this age group are still avid readers.
Set in the future, Panem is split into twelve districts and the Capitol. Every year, they hold a lottery in each district to select two young participants for a televised show called the Hunger Games that is held every year. These participants are brought to the Capitol to train for the show and must defeat each person until there is only one survivor. These games are held for not only entertainment purposes, but as a retribution for the past rebellion. We follow 16 year old Katniss Everdeen who lives in District 12 with her mother and sister Primrose. When it's time for the lottery, Prim is selected to participate, but Katniss jumps out from the crowd and volunteers herself in place of her sister. A familiar face around town Peeta is also selected to join Katniss and their journey begins to gain sponsorships and fight to the death.
Honestly, I wasn't planning on seeing this movie. I was a little skeptical too as it seemed similar to other stories told before (namely Battle Royale). After seeing the film, I can see the similarities and concerns, especially for people who appreciate Battle Royale, but I assure you that this idea is fresh and a little brighter than Battle Royale. I was tempted to compare the two, but a simple review is enough (besides there's also Running Man and Lord of the Flies to consider as well).
For someone who hasn't read the series, I thought the movie was thoroughly enjoyable. The characters provoked emotional attachment for the audience as well as a clear cut feeling toward them. The visuals were very fitting for each scene and situation. The costumes suited the characters' backgrounds and personalities. The story was interesting and executed well. Lastly, the cinematography was pretty decent. Although, there were parts that seemed a bit rushed either camera wise or story wise, I'm not completely sure. There were also a few parts I found a bit predictable, but every movie has a cliche or two.
In the end, I did find a couple favorite characters and didn't regret being dragged by my mother to see this movie. I'm curious how the rest of the trilogy pans out and I'm planning on reading it when the hype dies down or I have space to read anything extra. Despite the similarities to other stories (not just Battle Royale), I'm interested and hope fans are pleased as well. Lastly, I hope that fans of the series and fans of similar storylines stop arguing with each other as well as those who are complaining about the race of Rue and Cinna. Get over it and enjoy the movie!
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