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THE STORY: Set in a dystopian future during a post-apocalyptic period, The Hunger Games takes place in a nation called Panem which is the ruins of what was once North America. The Capitol holds dominance over the other 12 districts within the nation. As punishment for a previous rebellion as well as a means to impose power and control in order to prevent another uprising, the Capitol forces each district to offer one teenage boy and girl as tributes (by means of lottery) for the annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a twisted reality TV show whereby tributes from the different districts fight to the death until only one is left standing. To the citizens of the Capitol, The Hunger Games is a major source of entertainment for the wealthy (which is basically almost everyone in the capitol), and a time for betting and gambling.

The story is told through the eyes of the protagonist Katniss Everdeen, who ends up volunteering as tribute when her younger sister gets picked in the tribute lottery. Things get even gloomier for her when she finds out that the male tribute from her district turns out to be a boy who once saved her life, and who she must kill if she wants to stay alive.

MY RANT: Finally after weeks since its opening, I get to lay my eyes on the film that was and still is taking box-offices around the world by storm! If the odds were in my favour, I would have watched this on day 1 instead of facing piles of reports and textbooks, but alas I only live in the real world called Earth.

Being a complete newbie to the world of Hunger Games – not having touched the books at all – I came to the cinema without any knowledge and expectations except that it was a box-office hit and that the story involved a battle of 24 peeps to the death. So I was really looking forward to some thrill and spills during the games segment!

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the movie in terms of the acting, storyline and props. I really enjoyed the onset costumes and looks of the more quirky characters of the Capitol, in particular Effie and Seneca. Their wardrobe and appearance were just so over the top and flashy that I can’t help but be fondly reminded of the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. All that plus the colourful-nessof the pre-game scenes leading up to the battle gave a fun risque vibe to the movie which I felt added to and enhanced the fantasy atmosphere of the story.

I felt that Jennifer Lawrence did a commendable job in breathing life into Katniss’s character. From what I hear about the book, Katniss is someone who is strong and independent, sentimental yet somewhat socially inept (in reading/understanding people’s emotions), and for me I was able to relate these traits back to the character from what I had witnessed in the movie.

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta has certainly come a long way since his Zathura and Bridge to Terabithia days, he has grown mighty finely into a pretty young man and I think his new blonde locks played a good part on that. He should stay blonde! Apart from that, Josh just connects with the audience and he brings an innocence to his character that just makes you want to root for him, and I thought he accomplished that well since his character is suppose to be good with people.

And the little girl who played Rue first won my heart in Columbiana where she played the younger version of the female protagonist. Her strong character and maturity at such a young age in that film really captured me and I felt that she delivered well in the Hunger Games too.

One thing that really disappointed me about The Hunger Games was the battle segment. I mean the games are the main cruz of the story and a platform in which I believe the three books centered around (i’m assuming since I haven’t read them), and so I felt that they should have made the games more exciting and thrilling than was seen in the movie. I was certainly expecting some good fights but the action part of the film seemed really mellow to me (apart from the forest fire scene) and it certainly let me down. Most of the fights were just a blur of jumbled flashes; in one you see a kill about to take place and the next thing you know the camera pans to the left or right to focus on the background of trees, then you hear a cry, and the camera pans back to show a dead body. That was quite anti climatic don’t you think. I understand that the director was probably trying to keep it in-line with the PG-13 rating so as not to alienate its younger viewers. Hence, I hope that there might be some special treats waiting in the Dvds for older fans, such as extra fight scenes or an extended cut that were kept out of the cinema screening.

Other than the battle segment, I really enjoyed the storyline of the movie and the themes it incorporated which i felt were quite reflective of current society and its trends – power, classes, obession with fame & entertainment, reality tv… All in all its a fun movie to watch and I am hungry to see what the next two installments will bring, especially since we all know now that a new director will be taking helm with the departure of Gary Ross.