The Hunger Games trilogy recently arrived to Netflix to the delight of millions of fans. The Hunger Games (2012) is set in a fictional world where people are devided into seperate districts where they are forced to work in an industry. The film tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a resident of dsitrict 12, where coal is produced. Katniss is a young women (lets say early twenties), and is essentially the sole care giver to her younger sister Prim as her mother hasn’t recovered from the death of her husband and Katniss and Prims Father in a coal mining accident. The series is based on the novels by Suzanne Collins, which sold millions of copies worldwide.
Each district is ruled by the Capitol and there are twelve in total. Every year, contesetents from each district are selected at random to fight to the death in an special arena, built specifically for . This annual event started up as a sort of punishement for the revolution by the districts. Donald Sutherland plays the ruthless and twisted President Snow and rules over the Capitol and all twelve districts. Inevitably enough, Katniss ends up fighting in the arena alongside baker Peeta Mellark. We see her will to survive and to return to her sister and mother as well as some pretty badass bow and arrow work.
Harry Potter fans cricism of the film verions of their books provide evidence that satisfying book lovers is no easy task and it is a testement to the director Gary Ross and co that The Hunger Games manages to do this to a large extent. Much of this should be attributed to the loyalty the film shows to the books. Jennifer Lawrence is quite brillitant as Katniss Everdeen and really felt like a good fit for our idea of Katniss while Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones and Liam Hemsworth make for an excellent supporting cast. Ross manages to retain that dark, almost errie feel that the novel captures while the relationship between Katniss and Peeta works really well. The characters are also drawn very well and we begin to despise President Snow and long for his brutal death as much as we route for Katniss and Peeta.
The film is, of course, fictional, but we can’t help but feel it is also a commentary on the class system in society. The overwhlingly wealthy capitol is home to peope who have no understaning of poverty while Snow and his cronies ensure that habitants of the district become nothing more than miners and builders.We can make comparisons here with our own world and the level of inluence ones wealth has on their opportunites. I think the film also tells us something about entertainment and the vulgarity of some peoples tastes. People are literally dying but people continue to watch wih a glass of wine in their hand as if it’s movie.
The costume design and scenery are also pretty spectacular in this film. You can really feel the bleakness of District 12 and the disparity between that and the Capitol, with it’s luxious bulidings and people dressed in fine cloths, is pretty astonishing. Everything from the ferecious fighting dogs to the Tracker jackers (sort of deadly wasps) are impeccably animated and quite terrifying. Stanley Tucci is almost unregocnisable as Caeser Flickerman while the same could be said for Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket.
The Hunger Games is part of a 4 part trilogy with Cathing fire arriving a year later later in 2013 and the last book being converted into 2 films, Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) and Mockingjay Part 2 (2015). While the last two films don’t quite hold up to the standard of the first two, they are still very much worth watching so set a date to stay in, buy a load of snacks and get watching.