Thursday, April 5, 2012

Movie review: "The Hunger Games"

Last weekend my girlfriend and I had some plans going with another couple to movies. This friend was very hyped-up about "The Wrath of Titans" so we wanted to satisfy his wish and we complied with this choice. But when he called to say he can't go, we changed our plans and went to "The Hunger Games" instead.

This movie is not so familiar to general audience, at least here in Croatia, but I knew much because put much attention on it. So I knew the plot in general, even few names and about the romance part, some background. Anyway, it sounded OK; except few reviews that branded it as "a new Twilight". While I don't hold any grudge toward "Twilight" series, I watched only movies and didn't find them very good. So these comparisons made be a bit suspicious toward this movie, but in the end this fear proved unnecessary.

"The Hunger Games" have quite good plot. It's SF dystopia. Some time ahead, USA ended in civil war which resulted in new oppression: the Capitol and 12 district. The capital is place of high-technology, easy living and full colors - people there live like nobility. Other districts are each poorer than previous, with District 12 being the poorest, a place of miners and poor villagers. There lives a girl in her teens, Katniss Everdeen. Every year, a festivity called the Hunger Games is held, where two people from each district, a boy and a girl, are chosen to fight to death. After Katniss' younger sister end elected, Katniss volunteers herself to replace her, alongside Peeta, who is chosen for male representative. The two of them then travel to Capitol to prepare for the fight of their lives.

Well, since this is a young adult film, you can pretty much guess the ending. But even so, this movie has enough qualities and twist to make its 2 and a half hours pass faster than expected. The dystopian part of the movie is done quite well. A bit exaggerated from the District 12 side, but it strongly expresses the difference between the classes. In district, everything is gloomy, dirty and quite, while the Capitol is full of colors, laughter and lights.

The training part was longer than I expected it to be, but this is not an objection. They used it to explain the setting in more details and they did a good job. Nothing was obviously wrong or unbelievable. I even got a wish to read the books ("The Hunger Games" trilogy) to learn more, although I don't see where I would found the time for it. And when fighting part started, it was constantly tense and full of action. Few possible ending were hinted, so you could not be sure what the final conclusion would be.

At acting part was done quite well, except one over-cried scene. There are even few stars: Woody Harrelson,   Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci and Lenny Kravitz. Interestingly, and I don't know whether this was intentional or not, when they put Woody Harrelson and Josh Hutcherson (plays Peeta) together first time, they had the same facial expressions that I was positive they are father and son.

I was quite interested to see how will they be able to make a main character, who is a gentle and obviously good teen girl, kill somebody without making her look bad. More so, kill somebody with such a violent weapon as bow. Although I think that their solution was at least partly a dirty trick, it was nevertheless done cleverly.

For conclusion, I can say that "The Hunger Games" were a positive surprise. An interesting and fast movie for all kind of audiences, with enough small details to interest those with higher expectations. Also, bear in mind that this is only first part in probable trilogy.

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