Our oldest grandson has read all of Suzanne Collins’ books, the first being HUNGER GAMES. We have not but, with all the hype, we wanted to check out the movie. Its plot has been done to death, but I could see why Calvin and his friends had been reading the books – violence, strong characters, weak characters, and good/bad characters.
Set in the future, “Hunger Games” is an annual, televised slaughter of twenty-three participants, aged 12-18, held in retribution for a long past uprising. One girl and one boy from each of the twelve districts are chosen by a drawing to be representatives of the to-the-death games, which are completely controlled by computers. The last contestant alive wins. Wins what? Certainly not food for their district, each of which has little.
Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), 16, sneaks out of her District 12 fencelines to hunt for food for her mother and young sister, Prim, and to sell for necessities. She has become quite proficient with bow/arrows. When Prim’s name is called at the drawing, Katniss volunteers to take her place, which has never happened before. The boy who has been chosen is Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who has had a crush on Katniss for several years.
The 24 contestants are brought to the capitol of Penam, a totalitarian nation, where they are lavishly housed and fed. The residents of Capitol are well-dressed, well-fed, and must be “courted” by the contestants in order to acquire sponsorship for help during the game. The costumes and wigs of the elite are quite remarkable and will probably win an Oscar for costume design.
Reading the book would have helped explain a few things in the movie, so we’ll probably read the next ones pre-sequel. All-in-all, it was an okay movie with some decent acting. (Stanley Tucci as the blue-wigged MC, Caesar Flickerman, was a hoot.) As an adult, I am saddened at being reminded of the inequalities that continue to exist in real life, which this movie does very well. It seems that from ancient Rome to future times nothing important changes with mankind.
Rating: 3.1 stars out of 5.