The Hunger Games (2012)
The Hunger Games is the feverishly awaited adaption of the years bestseller by Suzanne Collins. Every year, in a post-apocalyptic North America called Panem, two dozen young boys and girls are plucked from a hat and forced to fight to the death in the televised reality show, where survival is key.
Gary Ross’ film instantly shows us the divide between the Capitol of Panem and its districts. The first scene shows a mid-shot of two futuristic, ridiculous looking men from the Capitol discussing the ‘magnificent’ annual Hunger Games. It then cuts to District 12 with a scream, where all is colourless and cold. Complete contrast to the wealthy Capitol.
16 year old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Laurence) , the centre of her fatherless family, is distraught when younger sister Prim’s fate is decided at the games reaping. Katniss intrinsically volunteers to take her place and is followed by baker boy Peeta Mellark (Josh Hucherson). The scene is given minimal music as the sympathetic silence of District 12 is enough to impact the audience.
The brave pair are faced by experienced tributes that have prepared for this bloodbath all of their lives. The violence is at its worst in the Hunger Games arena. The level of brutality is contained to its 12 rating and is very cleverly done; forbidding all sound effects and using fast paced editing to create horror but only in small glimpses. Ross created just the right balance if emotion and action, successfully allowing the most moving part in the book to be as equally moving in the film.
The arena shows Katniss make impossible decisions; battling with survival, humanity and love. This should change the games forever.
This Sci Fi futuristic adventure is thrilling, but could it become the next twilight? There are two more books in the series, could the excitement fade? I can almost sense a hint of team-Edward-team-Jacob conflict between Peeta and handsome Gale (Liam Hemsworth). We will have to wait and see…