The world has been waiting for a movie of The Hunger Games since the first book came out several years ago. With the trilogy now complete, the movie is finally here. Does it live up to its high expectations? Does it capture the essence of a war torn and brutal civilisation? You bet it does. This review is for people that have read the books, and therefore will contain spoilers!
Everything about this movie is perfect. From the outset, it is amazing how well the book’s world is realised on screen. The world is exactly how I imagined it. District 12 gives off a real feeling of poverty and depression, from the clothes worn, to even the colours used. The Reaping is horrifying to watch, with the seeds of rebellion subtly being planted.
Then we get to the Capitol. This is where the movie really blows you away. The buildings are magnificent. The people are ridiculous. The excessive styling, and weird facial implants? All there. The ridiculous hair? Present. Everything you could possibly expect from the Capitol is there. Suzanne Collins’ world has been brought to life in the most spectacular way possible, and I loved every minute of it.
Now then, the acting. This is where it could have gone horribly wrong. But it ended up perfect. Effie is sickeningly cheerful. Haymitch is drunk, but clearly kind. Both of these characters come across wonderfully, in fact. Another smaller character is Cinna, who is fantastic. You really sympathise with him, and almost love him. He’s so kind and sweet, and is exactly what I expected. Caesar, the talkshow host, is also fantastic, with real charisma and charm. He really brings some of the scenes to life. However, we all know who you want to hear about. Peeta and Katniss. Fortunately, they. Are. Perfect. Josh Hutchinson has real charisma in some of the scenes, and real emotion in some of the arena scenes. And Jennifer Lawrence. Man. She is amazing. Such a strong character, and so determined. I’m so glad that they didn’t just pick another attractive, emotional girl for this part. She fits perfectly. She has strength, and integrity. But she’s not lacking emotion. No, not at all. She’s part of some incredibly moving scenes, and she’s beyond fantastic. The perfect actress for the role. Expect to see her name everywhere from now on…
I’m not going to talk too much about the plot, as it’s the same as the books. I didn’t notice anything that has been missed out, and there were some scenes added in. Most notably, there are some scenes in the Game Maker’s HQ, with all sorts of fancy technology. These help to emphasise the huge contrast between the Capitol and the Districts.
In terms of cinematography, the movie once again shines. The film has a real edgy feel, which is exactly what it needed. With grim colours, the depressing feeling is omnipresent. Also, a shaky camera is used for much of the film. It takes a bit of time to get used to, but it does contribute to the action hugely. Regarding gore and violence, it hasn’t been toned down at all. Sure, there’s less blood than expected, but quick cuts preserve the intensity of the film, and there’s plenty of disturbing material. I am looking forward to the DVD release though, which is apparently even gorier. Don’t get me wrong though, the theatrical release is just fine. In fact, more gore could have taken away from the emotion a bit, and made it a bit too repulsive.
Frankly, I have nothing bad to say about this movie. The moment that I think will truly stick with me is when we first see the girl on fire. The dress is amazing. The determination in Katniss’ eyes is incredible. And my jaw dropped, my heart stopped. Much like Katniss on the chariot, this film is determined to conquer the people. Much like Katniss, this film will succeed. Much like Katniss, this film is on fire. Much like Katniss, it. Is. Perfect.