The Hunger Games: Film #156 of Film 365

Wednesday 2nd May 2012

Director: Gary Ross
Year: 2012
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Elizabeth Banks, Toby Jones,  Liam Hemsworth

Being a fan of the Twilight series (don't let this put you off, I also love Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd, Sideways, Psycho and Stand by Me), I had heard quite a lot about The Hunger Games. It's certainly marketed at the same "young adult" audience- whether or not that is actually the type of person who will go and watch it. I was persuaded it was worth giving a try when every comment I heard about it was a positive one- from Twilight fans, critics and friends who had never read the books alike.

Not having read the books myself, I can't compare it to the novel. But basing my opinion purely on the movie, this is very, very enjoyable. You don't need any prior knowledge of the books to understand the story (something that the later Twilight films admittedly lack), and the way it has been filmed makes for a really enjoyable movie experience.

I was a little bit unsure about the plot at first - it's basically exactly the same premise as Battle Royale (put a group of teenagers together in a forest and get them to kill one another). However, the resulting movies are very, very different. Whilst Battle Royale is unashamedly a horror movie, The Hunger Games is much more political. Although the politics are, for the most part, in the (albeit very obvious) background here, they clearly play a much greater part in the subsequent novels.

Every thing about The Hunger Games has been done to make you think about what's happening. At one point I found myself thinking about how effectively sound was being used to make a point. But then I thought "but so are the colours, and the images, and the narrative". Definitely worth two hours of your time, and you may well want to watch it again.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.