Monday, March 26, 2012


Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Wes Bentley
Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci

"May the odds be ever in your favor"

Cinema 10, SM Megamall

Books that cater to the young adults market make millions for their authors. As if they aren't wealthy enough, these books are then adapted for the big screen. So everyone profits. The authors, the movie production companies, the cinema theaters, the concessionaire stalls at the movie houses.

First you had the Harry Potter series, followed by the Twilight franchise. Now comes "The Hunger Games", the first in the trilogy penned by Suzanne Collins. Admittedly, I never read a single book of any of these authors. I am too old to be swooned by a fictional world of blossoming young romance where wizardry, vampires and werewolves reign supreme.

Curious creature that I am, I wanted to see if all this fuss about Hunger Games was worth it. I reckon it was really worth every centavo, I was blown away by its visceral tale of the haves versus the have-nots set in a futuristic society. The film pans into District 12 of Panem. A bleak coal mining village where our heroine, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) lives with her little sister and her mother.

Every year a boy and a girl ages 12 to 18 are chosen from each Panem district to compete in some survivalist battle known as the Hunger Games. Katniss, a feisty, tough and resourceful hunter who can ably provide for her family, volunteers when her young sister Primrose was chosen as a tribute to represent District 12.

The game has 24 competitors who kill each other until only one emerges as the victor. It is televised to all the districts like a reality show where rules can be easily manipulated through a computerized command center. Days before the actual games, the competitors go through rigorous training. They are interviewed by an over the top talk show host named Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) and have to 'beg' for sponsors. It's all a grand showbiz style production number with reality show overtones to the max.

The film takes on a thrilling suspenseful tone once the tributes are transported to the outdoor arena where, with wits and weapons, they battle each other and assorted perils generated by the organizers, who dole out death via computer touch screen. Much of Katniss's competitors are killed in a rapidly cut massacre filmed at such a frantic, blurry pace. Then it settles down a bit as one focuses entirely on watching if Katniss would survive the vicious attacks.

The thing that appealed the most to me was the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. Her flawless beauty is like a magnet, it draws you in. There was something luminous, slightly otherworldly about her. Her gravity and her steady gaze make her a fine heroine. Her love for her family was the fuel that triggered her desire to not only survive but to ultimately win the Hunger Games.

The film ran for 142 long minutes. Certain scenes were shot at full speed with shaky camera angles which were too jarring and quite blurry, you could hardly make out what was unfolding on screen. It was combined with a crisp, vivid cinematography of colorful costumes/wardrobe worn by the people living in the Capitol area. There were also impressive computer generated shots of the dystopian society. The ensemble cast (Woody Harrelson was excellent!) gave credible performances. Their characterization of those strange somewhat absurd personas were spot on.

Unlike my aversion to the Harry Potter and Twilight series, I'm hooked to this franchise. I'm looking forward to the next adventures of Katniss Everdeen. But no, I'm still not going to read the books, I'll just wait for the movies.

2 popcorn buckets:

Em Dy said...

I've read all of Harry Potter and Twilight. I'm reading Hunger Games just now because I wanted to see the movie first. Believe me, you're never too old to read Harry Potter. My dad, who's probably twice your age, has read the Harry Potter and Hunger Games books and enjoyed them.

I love Jennifer Lawrence's portrayal too. I read online though that those who've read the book complained that she was not appropriate as Katniss because she wasn't skinny enough. I don't agree with that at all. Plus, I think that the attitude adds to Hollywood's fascination with the superthin which is not good.

As for Woody Harrelson, I didn't recognize him right away and thought he was Owen Wilson. I was surprised to find that in real life they're best buddies.

Daphn3 LaurA said...

Well I figure that your dad has more time on his hands to read books. At the end of the day, I tend to fall asleep with a book half open near my pillow.

Since I didn't read the book, I didn't know that Katniss was a skinny girl. Now that you mentioned it, I realized that she must have been thin since they hardly had anything to eat.

Oh Owen Wilson was quite charming in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris"!


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