Warning: May the spoilers be ever in your favour!
Ever since Suzanne Collins’s best-selling book, The Hunger Games, was published in 2008, fans have been waiting impatiently for the (almost) real thing.
We had fallen in love, not with the Twelve Districts-assigned “job” (transportation, luxury, coal, etc.) nor the Hunger Games itself, which consists of 24 teenagers put in an arena to fight to the death with one victor. We fell in love with the characters and their emotions regarding all these things, and we couldn’t wait for it to appear on the big
Finally, our dream came true, with Collins herself having
adapted the book for film. And with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and
Liam Hemsworth as the stars, what could go wrong?
The film stayed very true to the book, right down to the
poverty in the Seam (the extremely poor part of District 12, responsible for
coal) and the infinite luxuries in the Capitol (the controlling and corrupt
government). Of course, we all missed our beloved Madge Undersee, the daughter
of District 12’s mayor. In the book, Madge gives Katniss the infamous
Mockingjay pin, while in the movie, Madge wasn’t even cast! While it was still
upsetting, the act of Prim, Katniss’s little sister, giving her the pin for
good luck proved to be just as good—if not better.
One of the best scenes by far was of The Reaping, the one
day each year where one boy and one girl from each District get chosen to be
Tributes and participate in the Hunger Games. Really, the whole thing was just
overflowing with emotion from when Katniss desperately volunteers to save her
sister from being in the Games, to when Gale is carrying a screaming Prim away,
to when Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son who saved her life when she was
starving, joins her up on the stage.
The Girl on Fire (Katniss’s unofficial
“nickname”) really delivered during the parade, when all the Districts
present themselves to the Capitol, dressed up in immaculate costumes. Cinna,
played by Lenny Kravitz, made his pair, literally, on fire. During the parade,
Katniss and Peeta held hands, adding to their budding chemistry. Katniss
doesn’t like the idea much, but she feels that she owes Peeta.
Finally, when the Games actually start, we get to see the
Arena! Immaculately designed, the Arena is a large forest, with few open spaces
and hidden cameras everywhere. And just in case you were thinking of running
away, no dice, because the Capitol has a “shield” over the arena that
shocks you when you touch it. The Cornucopia, a large rectangular horn
built to hold various weapons and supplies Tributes can snatch up at the start
of the Games, wasn’t at all what I expected.
Rue, played by Amandla Stenberg, is the little twelve-year-old
from District 11 who reminds Katniss of her little sister. Katniss and Rue immediately
become allies a few days into the Games. After managing to blow up some
supplies the stronger tributes had taken, Rue got entangled in a trap, and
while she managed to get free with Katniss’s help, a nasty Tribute from
District 1 killed her. Katniss killed him in revenge and cradled Rue in her
arms, singing to her all the while. She covered her body in flowers, to show
the Capitol that she will not play by their rules and be heartless.
And then the romance really begins, with the sudden
rule-change, saying that two Tributes from the same District can win and
Katniss goes running for Peeta. He is the only other person that she knows and
he saved her life. She plays up their “star-crossed lovers” gimmick,
knowing all the while that Peeta really is in love with her. But does she
really love him back or is it all just to get out alive?
All in all, The Hunger Games really delivered and verified what the book was all about. For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, sorry, but you are missing out. This
“critic” may be a little biased, but I definitely give it a 5/5.