Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Hunger Games

UK Release: Friday 23rd March 2012
Watched in Cinema: Saturday 24th March 2012
Rating: 12A
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 2hrs 22mins
Tagline: May the Odds be Ever in your Favour
IMDb Plot 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. 

My Review: If the trailer gives you chills then you know you’re on to a winner - that and being completely gripped by the book. Yes, I’m one of the many Hunger Games book fans and while I may not have been as snobbish as my companion, I was still anxious that the film would do the book justice. 
But there was no need to worry. The film stays truer to the book than Twilight certainly and Harry Potter probably also. 
The atmosphere forms right from the beginning, making reality fall around you as you become engulfed by Katniss Everdeen’s story. There’s been a lot of talk about Jennifer Lawrence and rightly so. She was everything I imagined Katniss to be and more; strong, fierce yet vulnerable and gentle - the perfect heroine. 
The dystopian elements were wonderfully created as the Capitol was displayed before our eyes - more rich and detailed than even my imaginations. However, there were a few alterations to the plot in terms of timing for things but I can see why they decided to do so - it makes it much easier for the regular film viewer to watch and makes the film even more dramatic. The action sequences had me right on the edge of my seat and I jumped so hard at one point near the end! The cinema had a ripple of nervous laughter before being sshhhed by everyone else!
This leads me to the romance: it was dealt with perfectly. It may have been billed as a Twilight-style love triangle but readers of the book will know that is a slight exaggeration as Gale is barely in it. It was Peeta, however, who I was interested and he and Katniss together were flawless and everything I was hoping for. I’m eager now to see Catching Fire and so see there relationship grow further. 
The direction of The Hunger Games sets it apart from any other blockbuster. It had a raw hand-held aesthetic style that put you right in the action. The wasn’t much prominent music and therefore the quiet made it even more intense and very real. This all meant for one hell of a tense and gritty ride of a film which matched the book impeccably. 
I’m not ashamed to say I welled up about four times as everything was so extraordinary and that soundtrack.. *shivers*.
It’s impossible to compare a book to a film as they’re completely different mediums which is why I can’t tell you which is better. Exciting, emotional and bursting with energy - you won’t regret consuming either!
Now I want to see it again...
Score: 9.5/10

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