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Hunger Games

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“The Hunger Games” Film Review

New York Times, John Green- “Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced”

Film Name: The Hunger Games
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Director’s Name: Gary Ross
Adapted From The Novel and Author: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

Plot Summary

The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic North America, known as the new country of “Panem”, with a government known as, “The Capitol”- a metropolis, that exercises political control over its society. The Capitol has an annual event, “The Hunger Games” to remind the citizens of Panem of the “Dark Days”, and to ensure that they never return. The story begins in a poor, coal-mining district, following a young 16-year old girl, Katniss Everdeen and her fellow tribute, Peetah Mellark.

Critical Review
In “The Hunger Games”, “Katniss Everdeen”, who was played by Jennifer Lawrence, was portrayed exceptional well. Not only does Jennifer’s appearance resemble all of those of Katniss, her attitude does as well. Instantly, you find yourself attached to Katniss and her family, as you feel sympathetic towards their poverty and situation. After you see Katniss volunteer as tribute for her sister at “The Reaping”, you automatically set your hopes high for her to win the games. Throughout the film, you feel all of the same emotions as Katniss, her fear at the beginning of the games, her miss-trust in everyone around her, and her relief when finally winning the games.
“Peetah Mellark”, played by Josh Hutcherson, I do not think was played very well. Throughout the film I could not get a grasp of what Peetah was thinking or feeling. During “The Reaping” you could see the fear in his eyes but could not feel it. As the story mostly follows Katniss I did not get much of a feel for Peetah. Near the end of the film you begin to feel more connected with Peetah as he starts to express his true feelings towards Katniss; as well as what he was thinking throughout the entire film. I believe that his role will come more into play during the sequel.
The flow of the film was well paced. It was not extremely dramatic and overwhelming. The information given about the country and the districts was fully given, and well explained. I felt a strong connection with most of the characters, but mostly Katniss as the story follows her side. The film reflects most of the novel, but does not express the emotions of most of the other characters, such as peetah’s father or Katniss’s family. From beginning to end I felt myself to be on the edge of my seat, constantly having my attention, wishing and hoping and wondering what will happen next. The music throughout the film created a whirl-wind of emotions, assisting with expressing the true emotions of the characters and makes you feel as if you are in the film yourself. The whole film appeared realistic in terms of dialogue and setting, everything said and seen (to an extent of the Capitol) appeared to flow smoothly and correctly. All actors and actresses in this film seemed to have a strong connection with one another and made this film a wonderful hit. The director, Gary Ross, brilliantly chose the actors and actresses of this film, and they all portrayed the novel very well.

Positive Aspects
•Gender appeal: Girls and women made "Twilight" a sensation. Most guys who saw it were dragged along by wives and girlfriends. While "The Hunger Games" is a female-centric story and has a "Twilight"-style love triangle, its themes and actions appeal to boys and men as well.
•Casting: The 21-year-old Lawrence beautifully captures the steely will and youthful anger of Katniss. The supporting players are equally well cast: the two hunks in Katniss’s life, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, her fellow District 12 games tribute, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale, her longtime hunting companion; Elizabeth Banks as Katniss and Peeta’s prim, perky handler; Stanley Tucci as a crazily coiffed TV games commentator; Lenny Kravitz as Katniss’s warmhearted, subversive stylist; Donald Sutherland as the evil, conspiring President Snow; Amandla Stenberg as the agile, waif-like games tribute Rue. And who could possibly find fault with Woody Harrelson as Katniss and Peeta’s boozy, cynical mentor?
•"It speaks to the world of … watching other people’s tragedies for entertainment," said Jennifer Lawrence
•The exposition is interesting and the rising action is quick and consistent.

Negative aspects
•Action: This is a story about kids killing kids, and while Collins’ books are not overly gory, the violence is brutal and merciless. Shot a bit more explicitly, the film easily could have had an R rating. The filmmakers walked a tightrope between staying true to the savagery of the book and keeping it tame enough for younger fans.
•Cinematic alterations: In the book, told in first person by Katniss, once the action shifts to the games arena, that’s all we see.
•The director changed so much in the film from the novel, the story is driven away from what makes it and Katniss unique. Every aspect of the novels should be included in the films. That way, we do not lose any of the important parts of the story line.
•Although the main characters are round, they lack range of emotional intensity. This, however, is part of the young adult genre so it makes sense.

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