After the release of the film adaptation of the first of Suzanne Collin’s three “Hunger Games” novels, I am pleased to say that the movie (and also the book) did indeed live up to the hype. Having been an avid hater of the “Twilight” series, my delight in this book series and the first of the movies is beyond surprising.
“The Hunger Games” takes place in the ruins of what is a post-apocalyptic North America. What used to be the United States is the nation of Panem, a 12-district federation that is headed by the Capitol.
In order to reassert their authority and to punish the districts for their rebellious uprising some 75 years ago, the government stages the annual Hunger Games, a gladiator-style competition that is broadcast to the districts in a reality show manner.
One boy and one girl from each district, between the ages of 12 and 18, are forced into an arena to fight to the death, with the result of one sole victor.
The main character Katniss is played by newcomer actress Jennifer Lawrence. Having read the book first, I can say she properly portrays this character with just the right dose of strength and vitality. She’s not the only character that brings the story to life.
The casting for each role in this movie is what makes this story so convincing and compelling, a measure that some directors can easily neglect.
The characterization breaks the barrier in this category, giving the story a sense of weight and gravity that few Hollywood stars could muster for such roles.
Also impressive about this movie is how the set design mirrors the description that the book gives on the districts and the gaucheness of the Capitol.
The cinematography also is worth noting, with many scenes edited in such a pristine manner, you momentarily feel as if you are a character in the movie.
There are a few inconsistencies between the book and the movie, which I both expected and accepted graciously.
However, without trying to spoil a good story, I will say those who have read the book will find that a couple of these inconsistencies are slightly bothersome but, because the movie holds its own value, these inconsistencies are easy to bypass.
The director did an outstanding job in bringing the author’s vision to the silver screen.
For men and women alike, from teenage to elderly, this is an engrossing story that will leave you feeling anything but bored.
—Casey R. Akard
To contact Casey R. Akard, email email@example.com.