The Hunger Games Review


With a teenage-centric movie based on a teenage-centric novel, the odds of being ok or just good enough, were slim. Fortunately, The Hunger Games proved to be a strong reminder that good movies can still be made, despite its demographic. While reflecting the perversion of reality TV and the exploitation of the Medias, it still entertains us throughout the whole experience.

Based on the very popular book by the same name, The Hunger Games is set in the future where Both America collapsed due to various reasons such as famine and war and is replaced by Panem: a country divided by 12 districts and a Capitol. Every year, a lottery drafts two young representatives from each district to participate in The Hunger Games, a television show meant to entertain and be watched all over the country, overflown with violence and brutality. The 24 chosen participants are forces to eliminate one another with all means in the most barbaric ways possible until only one survives. When Katniss’ young sister gets picked to be the female representative of the district, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) will be put against each other and other better trained, savage opponents to fight for their lives till death.

There’s nothing new to this genre but the scope and take on the subject helps distinguish it from its predecessors (Spartacus, Battle Royale). That said, it did an impressive job at re- appropriating certain aspects from this type of movie and making it its very own. Exploring the world from more than one perspective worked out for the best so that it feels like the viewers are an impartial judge to this whole barbaric system. Even though we see a little more through Katniss’ eyes, we still get a very good sense of the surroundings and the decayin  relationships with the others to make us witness how far one would go to survive. The evolution of the story escalates in favor of the protagonists, of course, and see where no matter what the circumstances, with their backs to the wall, there is a genuine heartfelt compassion for each other and differentiates them from the rest of characters.

The actors have genuine chemistry on camera and this makes their psychological connection wonderfully believable. Josh Hutcherson is finally proven to be a strong supporting role and this movie will certainly grant him more serious roles in the future. The star of this delightful and suspenseful experience is of course Jennifer Lawrence who gives a fantastic performance as the ruthless warrior /heroine we all want to root for. Her dualism and skepticism towards the events is palpable and stressful to say the least. Elizabeth Banks is quite the comic-relief (let’s call it that) as Effie Trinket. This is probably the only movie where you don’t wanna laugh at her lines due her satirical role and uncaring position her character is and also, it takes you a while to actually recognize her. Stanley Tucci’s sardonic and over-the-top caricature of a TV show host is just weirdly enjoyable and uneasy. So overall, great cast and great performances, enough for the 2 hours and 22 minutes to pass by unnoticed.

The Hunger Games mirrors the over-powered Medias and how people are easy to manipulate or attract with the simple factor of being entertained, no matter the cost. It portrays the perversion and addictive obsession of reality TV and how it easily escalates of being completely and utterly disgusting for the viewers satisfaction. The close up plans and throat-clenching silences make very good point to where cynicism and pleasure is differentiated. That said, The Hunger Games offer a very good criticism and observation of today’s society, the inclusion of mass media and to what point could we accept getting it involved in our lives.

The movie spends quite some time fleshing out the character and establishing the settings so that we can connect with and relate to today’s exaggeration of the medias. Everything has a strong emotional connection and importance just because they didn’t rush to get to the action prematurely so that  there is no instant gratification waisted.

The lack of music and sound during the most intense scenes was the most climatic element the movie upholds. They say less is more, and in this case, it gives a realistic astonishment to the character’s perspective of the events. During the first slaughter, the music was almost non-existent and very few notes and noises were orienting us to what was about to happen. It gives out a very epic approach to setting the scope of the movie without ruining the climax by overdoing anything.

The shaky and inconsistent camera work during hard-felt moments only re-enforced to show us the lack of compassion those people feel towards the man-slaughters, and giving us an introspective of the muddled protagonists’ minds. During the slower scenes, the cinematography was still able to capture a strong kinetic energy and never felt heavy or long.

The Hunger Games is not a new and fresh concept, but it does very well in this genre to stand tall and be recognized for its social critique’s implementation and cinematographic excellence. Surrounded by a cool cast, good writing and great settings, The Hunger Games doesn’t disappoint, especially after breaking that curse of teenage-book-into-movie type situation we’ve been having for the past few years…I’m sure you know what I mean by that.

2 Responses to “The Hunger Games Review”
  1. Ipodman says:

    I don’t like the shaky cam in this movie because it jumbles everything up and makes you dizzy, but your view on the shaky is interesting!

    • Thanks, I thought it was a pretty logical reason for the camera to be shaky only during the battle scenes while it was also focused of the protagonist. I’m not a fan of that effect much either, but thought it was relevant!

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