“The Hunger Games” Lives Up to Expectations

Mackenzie Wilson

the movie poster spoting the popular logo 'the world will be watching'

Ever since Suzanne Collins released the first book in her popular trilogy, The Hunger Games, her pool of fans has been growing. This same group of expanding fans have been awaiting the day when the  movie hits theaters, with the same anticipation as Harry Potter fans back in 2011. Upon release, The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross, proved an excellent choice for all ages.

The story revolves around the post-apocalyptic world of North America in the future, called Panem, whis is divided into 13 Districts. District 13 tried to cause an uprising to overthrow the totalitarian regime of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) residing over the districts. It failed, which lead to the destruction of District 13 and the creation of the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games were created to prevent the districts from rebelling again by having the 12 districts sacrifice one boy and one girl. Out of the 24 kids thrown in, only one can survive, which is where District 12’s Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark’s (Josh Hutcherson) story begins.

Some might like to complain that during the scenes at District 12, the camera moved too much or was too choppy with its cuts. But the shaky camera movements simply added to the mood of the movie. Quick flashes to people in the poverty stricken district give the viewers a sense of how bad things are in the poorer parts of Panem. The camera shots also make the Drawing more nerve wracking as it flashes from Katniss to Prim (Willow Shields) to her friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) until the names are finally drawn. When Katniss is in the arena, the camera also allows the audience see her view of everything, like making the screen entirely blank after she passes out due to trackerjacks.

The movie is also able to fill in information without having to adjust the dialogue at all. When anything needs to be explained the director leaves it to the movie’s talk show host, Caesar Flickerman, (Stanley Tucci). In an ESPN-like setting, Caesar talks about what is going on and highlights strong players and great killings like a sports announcer would about football. The flashes to the control room with game leader Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) also adds to the movie in a positive way.

The movie overall was very well put together. It maintained the plot while still adding its own twists in a seamless way. While most movies present a subpar version of the books “The Hunger Games” exceeded where others fail. If anyone is looking for a movie to see this weekend, that is full of thrills, action, and a little romance, this is the perfect choice.