8.5

The Hunger Games (2012)


Is Katniss Everdeen’s fight for survival worthy or does The Hunger Games deserve to be eliminated?

In an alternate world, The Hunger Games is a televised competition where twenty-four civilians are randomly selected from their district to battle to the death. When Katniss Everdeen protects her sister by volunteering for the games she’s boosted to stardom along with the pressure to win and survive.

The opening scenes are a host to quick paced camera shots and close ups that give a more unsettled feel than would normally be given to walking in a woodland area and standard dialogue scenes. Combined with eerily silent moments, with mass crowds forced to dress their best, a real sense of unease is attached to the idea of the Hunger Games as a competition. These opening scenes are great for establishing a context for the rest of the film and set an unjust tone early on; throughout the film this intensity is continuously heightened and peaks during the deadly competition Katniss is thrust into.

Perhaps one of the unsung merits of the film is that all of the characters feel purposeful and calculated; Jennifer Lawrence plays a fiery, yet calm, lead character and at only twenty-two, in her major blockbuster career, she more than steals the show. Lawrence plays Katniss with a tenderness that shows she’s a lost girl in a huge city, never quite sure of her surroundings; but when thrown into the actual games she springs to life and delivers a modern day action heroine who is touchingly conscientious by trying to save the people she’s meant to kill.

As the film proceeds there is a split in genres that is seamless. Before the hunger games actually begin there is an effective build up that stands alone as a drama; once Katniss enters the games the film quickly turns into a violence-driven action film, with enough killing to satisfy the everyday action movie fan. It’s the first half of the film with its drama based scenes that build the foundation for the film and its characters are engaging later on largely due to the time taken in developing them.

THE VERDICT

With an exciting cinematic style, intense and methodical structure, and great character progression, this is definitely worth a watch, especially on the big screen if the opportunity arises. Lets hope the rest of the franchise lives up to expectation.

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