Director: Gary Ross Screenplay: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
My friends have a tendency to come up with a plan and cancel it a few hours before we go. It’s annoying, I know. So when one of us blurted out a plan to watch The Hunger Games, I kept my expectation low. I even expect it to be cancelled in the last minute. But hands up to them, this time we did really go.
The first time I heard that The Hunger Games was going to be filmed, I swore to myself that I had to watch it. I read the book, and even though I’m not a big fan of dystopian book, somehow I enjoy this book very much. The thrill and excitement did it, I think.
The movie is about Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year-old girl who lives in the poor District 12, who volunteers herself to substitute her sister Prim as a tribute in The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is an annual game made by the Capitol as a punishment for a rebellion years before by District 13. Each district must send a boy and a girl (aged between 12-18) each year as participants. Once they get into the arena, there will only be two choice: to kill or to be killed. There will only be one victor, while the others who are not fortunate enough to win will die in the arena.
The early scenes show Katniss and her everyday life. Set in a poor little town, we get to see how Katniss provides her family daily needs by hunting (her skill in archery is wow with capital W!), and her sisterly love for Prim. Moving the the scenes in the Capitol, everything are so different as chalk and cheese. While Distric 12 is set in this gloomy, dark mood, the Capitol set in the cheerful, colorful, lavish one. The satire couldn’t be any clearer, hats off to the art director.
I must say that I could feel the adrenaline kicked in as the tributes enters the arena. They successfully created a thrilling mood all the time the game was played. I felt like being dragged to the screen and into the arena. Iota, who happened to sit beside me, couldn’t stop saying things like, “Run, Katniss! Run!” or “What are you doing there? Go before they see you!” as if she was standing in front of Katniss. Exhilarating, it was. Even there are some parts that made me scream (oh, have I told you that I wasn’t made for being shocked?). Another point for this movie.
Usually, I don’t like a movie better than its book. I always thought that the book is better somehow, but this is an exception. I like the movie just as much as I like the book. To make it even better, the visualization is not far from what I had in mind when I read the book, if not the same! This is not surprising since the book writer, Suzanne Collins, are responsible for the screenplay. Well, maybe that’s how it should work: the writer should write the script to make the movie as good as the book. One last thing that should get a standing ovation: Jennifer Lawrence’s acting. She’s flawless! She pictures the humble, hard-working, and lovely Katniss perfectly. Not to mention she’s extra gorgeous. I think Fadhi and Khemal were drooling all the time the movie was played.
Overall, this is a movie I would recommend to everyone. Splendid acting, fabulous setting, terrific story. You’ll walk out from the cinema with satisfaction, I guarantee that. And I can’t wait for the sequel, Catching Fire, in November 2013. Still a long time to go, if the world hasn’t ended yet.
And oh, in the end, we got the moral of the story. Mine is ‘love conquers all’, and Iota’s is ‘fake it till you make it’. I think I like Iota’s better.