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The Hunger Games Film Review.

Screened back in March in cinema’s, The Hunger Games hit retailers this week after a successful stint at the box office. Based on the popular book series and a trilogy already in the pipeline, their is no dampening the appeal of this film to any single individual film goer (that is if you are over 12). Likened to the cult Japanese film and novel Battle Royale, The Hunger Games lives up to and goes beyond what Battle Royale has done in areas.

The film follows a 16 year old girl called Kadness (Jennifer Lawrence) after she inadvertently volunteers to fight instead of her young sister in the Hunger Games which is a battle of children between 12 districts and each district sends out 2 contestants between the age of 12 and 18 in the dystopian nation Panem in which this battle is heavily televised and streamed to overwhelming publicity. Referred to as tributes, the game takes place in an isolated forest in which elements can change dependent on support from tribute sponsors and how well a certain player is doing.

The film before the emphasis on the tournament has a hefty prelude in which the contestants are picked and then trained while the media spotlight is thrust upon them with some embracing it and others not so. The film is thoroughly entertaining and at times taut throughout often blending multiple themes that all ages of viewers can enjoy such as romance, action and violence in which there is controversially enough off. While I applaud the film in its showing of violence I question the need of a 12 rating. Surely a 15 rating would be able to gratify the realistic violence shown? Yes a 12 rating maximises the profit but the gratuity could be further enhanced with a 15 rating. Not a criticism of the film but the decision of Lionsgate which has not gone down well in the wider media since.

The acting is solid enough with Jennifer Lawrence leading the way but Woody Harrrelson, Josh Hutcherson and Stanley Tucci providing superb support. Technically sound and visually authentically representing a very alien, dystopian world ravaged in slavery and social domination, there is very little wrong if anything with how the film is set and the way in which it is also. The problem with the film and it is the only one lies in its execution. There are gaps in the film (these could be resolved in sequels but that remains unclear) with regards to the ending mainly but also throughout as some parts are weak. Likened to the Twilight series, there are a few pretty faces and I personally think the films focuses on that a great deal with various facial shots trying to appease the teen fanbase unfortunately.

The Hunger Games is a superb visual treat far surpassing my own expectations. Not quite Battle Royale but instead of focusing on violence, it takes a diversion in the other direction to flirt with social construction and criticism as well as the authenticity of reality television. Alliances forged, friendships fractured and love can bloom on the battlefield, the Hunger Games is certainly one of the most controversial films in recent times. In spite of that though, it tells a good story and is masterfully made.

From what could have spelled trouble being likened to Twilight to being compared to Battle Royale, The Hunger Games is brilliantly adapted and one of the big surprises in recent times. Highly recommended and commended.


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