The Hunger Games is the amazing first part of a four-part franchise. This first film is the start of a new beginning for the people of Panem.
Every year, two random chosen teenagers, a boy and a girl, from the 12 district of Panem, must fight each other till death. At the beginning of the film the reason for this barbaric ‘game’ is explained. Years ago there was a war between the District and the Capitol. To prevent this kind of rebellion and also to show the people who’s the boss, the Capitol organized these Hunger Games: “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
The ‘tributes’ from district 12 are Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). The so-called ‘reaping’, the moment where the tributes are chosen, was very dramatic and sad. Every time I see this scène it makes me sad. Katniss’ sister Primrose (Willow Shields) did a very good job here, I really felt for her and Katniss. The scene where Katniss has to say goodbye to her family and friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) is also well done. After this dramatic events Katniss and Peeta meet their tutor Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) during their train trip to The Capitol. Haymitch’s character develops during the film from a drunk who doesn’t really care into a dedicated tutor. Once in The Capitol, a real circus waits for the tributes: Colourful people, a parade with horses and amazing outfits, a talk show with the always hilarious Caesar (Stanley Tucci) with his famous laugh.After some training and an individual evaluation, which implies a very interesting archery demonstration from Katniss, The Games begin. Despite of the tragic death of the contenders there was only one that gave me goosebumps. The death itself wasn’t interesting but what comes after is very beautiful and impressive. This is also the only death which causes some rebellion actions in the respectively district, but is quickly suppressed. The play field is a very deathly place and can be changed by the spell maker whenever he feels like it: a fire, an extra tree, gigantic ‘dogs’ or lethal wasps. The part where the rules are changed and reversed is quite predictable but also causes a very memorable moment between Katniss and Peeta. There’s one moment where Katniss really has to run for her life, but mostly she got help. This might be one point of critic: I feel the Games where too ‘simple’ for her, she had little difficulty to eliminate her competition.
The dynamic between Katniss and Peeta during the Games was less interesting than before. In preparation for the Games we see more interaction between these two where Peeta is really helping Katniss with others to ‘like’ her. But I didn’t see any real romantic chemistry between them, maybe also because it wasn’t real anyway. Katniss and her stylist Cinna (Lenny Krevitz) however, do have a beautiful chemistry together. Katniss and Haymitch are also an interesting team; Katniss can be bitchy and then Haymitch puts her back on her place. I really like Jennifer Lawrence as the powerful Katniss!
Since I’ve already seen the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I already know that some characters will be more elaborated. Like Effie (Elizabeth Banks). In this film it’s like she’s just the shallow girl with the colourful hair and clothes from the Capitol. Next: The book!