[Editorial note] I caved in to the pressure of the masses last night and saw the much-hyped and highly anticipated Hunger Games. While I didn’t read the best-selling novels (nor do I plan to), I can report that the film itself was an unexpected edge-of-your-seat thriller. It was visually stunning, thought-provoking, and action-packed.
Also, it had Lenny Kravitz and you all know how I feel about Lenny Kravitz.
I’m sure many of you haven’t seen it yet, so I won’t give away too many plot points. Not that there’s a whole lot of plot to give away. It’s pretty much about a group of kids, picked at random and put into a no holds barred game of survival. Think: the Triwizard Tournament sans all le magique. However, this is not to say that the film lacks anything. On the contrary, The Hunger Games packs a lot of heart and poignant meaning into a story about teenagers slaughtering each other for the televised amusement of others.
The stand out of The Hunger Games is undoubtedly Jennifer Lawrence. She plays Katniss Everdeen, a young woman who volunteers for the Hunger Games (for which the film is titled). There’s more there, but I’ll let you watch before we discuss. The point is, Lawrence turned in a performance that leaves her contemporaries in the proverbial dust. Forget Dakota. Buh-bye Kristen. Don’t try again, Amanda Seyfried. Lindsay who? Jennifer Lawrence has a quiet, controlled screen presence that made her a perfect badass chick. And trust, her badassness is all over The Hunger Games. Her abundant talent as an actress aside, she’s also hella gorgeous.
I suppose the only criticism of the film I have is directed at the director. While the production value and costuming are pretty incredible, the camera-work during some scenes was way too jolty. I hate when the camera shifts all over the place during action scenes. Keep it still, dammit! I wanna see what’s going on without getting nauseated. But I suppose this was a means by which the violence was made less explicit for younger audiences. Fair enough. At least it wasn’t Cloverfield.
In conclusion, please go add your $15 to the millions already being poured into the coffers of The Hunger Games. It’s a film that’s as much about sport-killing as it is about our own reality.