When it comes to popular books and the movies that are made based on them, I always seem late to the party. I read and saw “Twilight” the last week it was in theaters (the sequel was already in the works), I never even tried with “Harry Potter,” and
most recently, “The Hunger Games.” I refused to see the movie until I read the book. I put that off for a while and missed out on the chance to see the movie in theaters.
Now that it has come out on DVD, and I have now read the book, I finally watched it. If you’re also tardy to the party, “The Hunger Games” is a movie based off the popular series by Suzanne Collins. It takes place in the future, where cell phones, Facebook and iPads don’t exist. Panem was formed from a post-war North America and is a mostly poverty stricken nation, with the exception of the Capitol. So, what does a poor nation do for entertainment? Send 24 children to fight to the death for the honor of the districts. The hunger games are part for entertainment (it’s televised) and part for punishment for rebellion against the capital. It is an annual event in Panem and this is its 74th year.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has previously experienced the agony and anxiety of the selection day, better know as The Reaping, and now it’s her sister, Primrose,’s first Reaping. Katniss assures her little sister that her name is only in the lottery drawing once, and she will not be picked. Katniss has assumed the role of the matriarch of the family after the loss of her father. Her mother is around, but she’s more like a zombie than anything.
To the shock of the Everdeen girls, Primrose is selected as tribute for District 12. Katniss wastes no time in volunteering herself in place of her sister. Her competitor, and fellow tribute, is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), who shares a history with Katinss.
The two tributes are shipped off to the Capitol, accompanied by Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and their mentor, and past winner of the games, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), who will assist in training for the games.
When the two tributes arrive at he Capitol, they’re put on display for all to see before they enter the arena. Some of the supporting characters were much more enjoyable than the players themselves. Flamboyant host, Caesar Flickerman (Stanely Tucci), was an enjoyable character to watch as he played interviewer to the players prior to the game and commentator as the games were on going. Another favorite of mine was the stylist of Katniss, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz). He showed some compassion and humanity to Katniss, and they quickly became friends.
It’s hard to get further into the movie without giving too much away. They enter into the arena and start the games from here. For a movie about murder, it was not very graphic, but the script was well written and the cast was excellent. Donald Sutherland even makes an appearance in the movie.
While the movie followed the plot of the book very closely, there were differences. Some parts of the book were not included, there were some new scenes in the movie and some things were only vaguely explained. Overall, it was an entertaining movie and well worth a watch.