Saturday, March 24, 2012

Movie Review {1}: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Format: Movie
Reported by: Julianna Helms

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games.  A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains.

Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy.  If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

THE HUNGER GAMES is directed by Gary Ross, with a screenplay by Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik.  Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, the first in a trilogy published by Scholastic that has over 23.5 million copies in print in the United States alone, has developed a massive global following. It has spent more than 160 consecutive weeks/more than three consecutive years to date on The New York Times bestseller list since its publication in September 2008, and has also appeared consistently on USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.

-Summary from The Hunger Games official movie website

This movie was not perfect.

There is not such thing as true perfection, because everyone of us sees the world through drastically different eyes, and if we are to define the word perfection, then that grants individuals a power so long lost and never earned that it would be controversial and hated, loved and abused. And while I wholeheartedly embrace anyone who finds this movie perfectly perfect, as it might just be in their case, I myself am a full acknowledger of my truths, and I do not believe this movie was truly perfect...

but, a clarification: it was perfect for me.

I know that so many people are reviewing this movie, tearing it apart or screaming in joy, thinking silently or bathing in emotions, but I am not original and I will review this, too. My opinion is mine, your opinion is yours--and I will share mine in the hopes of chasing away any last doubts lingering within you.

Jennifer Lawrence, you are incredible. I am in awe of you. I will not stalk you, I do not know anything about you other than that you received an Oscar nomination (right? I'm not sure) for a part in Winter Bones, which I've never watched, and that you are naturally a blond who lots of people were shocked by when cast as Katniss--even though, prominently, hair can be dyed. I know little about you and I will not find out beyond what I need, as your distaste for fame is real and relatable and I respect it so very much. But honestly? You have captured the essence of Katniss. You are angry and subtly kind and resentful and quietly intelligent. You are thoughtful but arrogant, impatient yet helpful, desperate and so very defeated--but yet you survive. That is Katniss, and in the movie that is who I saw: it is not looks that should ultimately define a character, but who they are. **Edited to add: As my bud Alexa points out, it's Winters Bone that Jennifer stars in, not Winter Bones. What did I tell ya. :) **

Josh Hutcherson, I love you. There is a very distinct (though often forgotten) line between love and in love, and I love you. You were right when you said you were Peeta (and, okay, so your looks totally helped too, but let's not objectify here, yeah?). Liam Hemsworth, though I have my own prejudice against Miley Cyrus, you are your own being and you are fantastic. During the flashbacks to you throughout the games, there were people in the audience laughing at your reaction to Katniss and Peeta. I find it real that sometimes jealousy still exists admist a sea of destruction. The cast of this movie is... just who they are in real life. They are the characters, and that's what makes this so incredibly authentic.

I'll ramble on forever if this continues, so let me just try and wrap it up. There were only two things I wasn't too fond of, and they're spoilers, so only read them if you've seen the movie. (hightlight to see.) And yes: perfection has flaws. But it is not the flaws that dictate a person or thing, and it should not be, least not in my opinion. It's the level of real.

1) Haymitch actually seemed incredibly sober to me, which is saddening but understandable.
2) Even though in the arena, Katniss and Peeta were in crazy pain, their expressions didn't exactly match up to the horrible caliber of their injuries. Guess I can't really complain though, since too much pain and the few span of days they had would've seemed unbelievable, but then the movie would've been way too long.

You see Katniss and you're seeing through Katniss. The shaky camera shots, the flashes of violence that impacts you in a way that shouldn't be possible with so few bursts of meticulously engaged bloodbaths. It is the entire subtlety of the movie that shocks me. And maybe they've had to speed up some things, take out some things, but the two-and-a-half-hours long movie is just the right length and pace. For me, at least.

The Hunger Games was a book I loved long before its climb of fame and popularity, and maybe some despise it for whatever reason thinkable. But for me, I loved it, and the movie does it justice alright.

It can be alarming in its poignant recapture of the book, and be prepared to have your mind blown, your emotions numb, and spontaneous deluges of tears and laughs and claps: everything you have experience while reading the titular novel, you will submerge in once again.

And that's all that really matters: that it collides head-on with our dreams and wins.
The Reviews News


  1. My friend went to go see the movie on the premier night. She said it was amazing and she loved it. I'm hoping to go see it myself soon.

  2. I totally agree with your review. It was an amazing movie.

    It felt rather strange to watch it though, because it almost captured the book perfectly, it was like I was seeing what I had pictured in my head, but it was on the big screen instead! I also felt slightly deflated afterwards, not because I was disappointed in any way, but because I had put so much emotion and excitement into the run up to seeing it, that after I had finally seen it, I was unsure what to do, or how to feel, next!

    Weird huh? But yeah. Amazing.

  3. I totally agree with you. That movie was fantastic. Even the things I wasn't sure about before going into it (some casting, pacing, fitting, etc worries) I totally should not have worried about, because in my opinion, it was PERFECT.

    That is all.

  4. While it wasn't perfect for me, it was close enough to be satisfying and make me go back to see it again. I have a few quibbles, but there was so much to love about it, most especially the wonderful acting and overall feel of the film.

  5. @Xia I myself definitely agree with your friend. ;D
    @Sarah YES! YES! That's exactly how I felt!!
    @Mag Very much agreed. :)
    @Tricia I'm so glad you at least liked it! :)

  6. Fantastic review! You've hit the nail on the head for how I felt about this movie, as well! :)


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