The Hunger Games – Not Just Another Teen Movie

It’s official…the SurlyGurls are calling it right now…“May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour” is going to be the new “May The Force Be With You”.

With one of us being a fan of the series, having read the books, and the other having a vague familiarity with the premise we are willing to give into the huge hype surrounding the release of the highly anticipated ‘The Hunger Games’.

We’ll admit it, we were both slightly skeptical. Andrea, having never read the books, believed she would be walking into a film that was only slightly less asinine than the ‘Twilight’ series. Whitney on the other hand, was worried they would never be able to capture the essence of the characters and their emotions.

That being said, we still bought our advance tickets, waited in line to see it in the glorious IMAX, and are now sat in a 24-hour coffee shop telling the world – we both LOVED this movie. It is visually impressive and it’s entertaining for those who know and love the characters as well as those who are just meeting them for the first time.

It is unfair to lump this series into the same category as other teen-centric entertainment. The characters are dealing with real-life problems like supporting their families, famine, and an oppressive government; not just who’s going to ask them to prom. In fact, Katniss Everdeen is essentially the antithesis of Bella Swan. Katniss is courageous, self-sacrificing, intelligent and resourceful. She potentially gives up her own life to save her sister, whereas Bella tries to off herself in any way possible because her boyfriend left town.

Jennifer Lawrence was straight up outstanding as Katniss. Not only did she end up winning over the people of Panem, but also those of us in the real world. The moment that stood out to us was the final 30 seconds she had with Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) before entering the arena for the games. Up to that point she had kept the hard, arrogant facade without fail, but in those last moments the look of undeniable, sincere terror was subtle and yet made a huge impact.

As good as Lawrence was as the somewhat closed off and cold Katniss, Josh Hutcherson was equally as great as the warm, charming Peeta Mellark. The symmetry between Hutcherson’s effortless performance as Mellark and Mellark himself effortlessly turning into the perfect tribute was amazing.

Lawrence and Hutcherson were in good company and weren’t left to carry the film themselves. Elizabeth Banks was picture perfect as Effie Trinkett – the naive host to the District 12 tributes. Stanley Tucci was consistently charismatic as the Games commentator. Even Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane and his outrageous facial hair was a great addition to the cast.

Crane’s role in the movie was greatly expanded, giving the audience a chance to see the Gamemakers at work which was a perspective not explored in the novels. It added to the horror of what was happening to the children in the arena and the fact that, to the people of the Capital, it is just a television show. The Gamemakers sat in their pristine control room pushing buttons, running programs and manipulating the game.

The look of the movie was a character in itself. The stark contrast between District 12’s dilapidated, bleak, colourless atmosphere and The Capital’s gleaming, cheery, opulence was perfect. On top of the actual sets and backgrounds of the film, the costumes were unique and over the top. Effie Trinkett sticks out like a sore thumb at the District 12 Reaping – giving viewers the first look at the massive difference between the districts and the Capital. Katniss and Peeta’s Tribute Parade outfits were just as striking on film as they were described in the book.

To anyone still sitting on the fence on whether or not they should see this movie, we believe it is worth seeing. It’s technically amazing, the CGI was well-integrated so as not to be distracting. The acting was phenomenal. The pacing was perfect, making the 2.5 hour length seem like nothing. The story itself is well-written with multi-dimensional characters. The only thing that may be off-putting to some movie-goers is about 2 minutes of brutal violence at the very beginning of the Games. Though, this was the scene that made us both realize we were no better than the citizens of Panem, watching children murder each other for entertainment.

We can’t wait to see how ‘The Girl On Fire’ will evolve in the inevitable sequel.


About surlygurls

We’re two SurlyGurls brought together by a love of all things awesome and an equal hate of all things which are an affront to awesomeness everywhere.

Posted on March 24, 2012, in AWESOME, BOOKS, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES & FILMS, OPINION, REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Excellent review! Yours is so much better than mine! It’s interesting that one of you really enjoyed it without reading the books. When watching it I was slightly concerened that this wouldn’t be the case. I thought some parts might be quite confusing and thought they should have explained some things better. So it’s good to know people who haven’t read the books will enjoy it too! 🙂

  2. I had a feeling this was going to be ok, because I love the design of the posters – someone actually put in effort – most posters look like garbage these days. I’ll have to give it a try. Ax

  3. Great post! You both really made me want to see it!

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