For a while now, I have been hearing such good things about The Hunger Games that it seriously grabbed my attention as one of the dark horses of this year and it was only a matter of time before I got a chance to watch it. Director has an impressive filmography trailing this one and he has Seabiscuit to his credit which I liked immensely and so for the second time this month, the expectations raised. This has been a month of heartbreak for me with duds like Gangs of Wasseypur part 2 totally leaving a taste in the mouth similar to one you have when you drink water after enjoying a good bite of chocolate. However, in this case, I preferred “to forget to remember”.
In a futuristic world, the Capitol selects a boy and a girl from each of their 12 Districts to take part in a duel to death with a lone survivor. The event as they call it is known as THE HUNGER GAMES. The participants are of age between 12-18 years. Primrose Everdeen(Willow Shields) is selected as a participant from District 12 but her berth is taken over by her elder sister Katnis(Jennifer Lawrence) to save her from an imminent death. As Katnis is processed to take part in the event, she realizes that her fighting skills are just as important to her survival as her ability to attract people’s attention and make them care for her. As the games progress, the lines thin between friendship, loyalty, love and responsibility is toyed with repeatedly. What is left to be seen is whether our protagonist emerges victorious or not???
The Hunger Games is based on the popular book by Suzanne Collins. It is very difficult to call The Hunger Games a bad film. The primary reason behind that would be because it is made with such heart. The film takes itself seriously and it’s not the usual run of the mill action caper in which the emphasis is on the action with good looking people who have sometimes trivial and sometimes no reason at all to fight. The Hunger Games however, gives our protagonists a valid reason to battle and more importantly makes us care for the characters. The action is lesser than expected and it serves essentially as a drama. The psych of characters is shown fluctuating between rivalries and that’s what adds to the surprise element of the movie. The action, though restrained and realistic, will leave you asking for more but I feel in a movie like this, anything more would have gone on to make the screenplay feel silly.
Katnis is shown vulnerable and even afraid at a time which goes on to increase our believability for the character. However the sucker punch comes in the second half when Katnis teams up with her district mate to conjure up a romance which feels shocking and sometimes even insane. The frustration of Katnis’ lover back home and her efforts to survive by any means possible including romancing to stir up public attention and support is exasperating to watch. Having said that, Hunger Games has a strange gloom associated with its narrative with many of the major characters dying including children.
I couldn’t help but feel a tad bit disappointed with the proceedings owing to the fact that so little happened throughout the narrative. It may be due to the fact that movies like Battle Royale and The Condemned have spoiled my taste to such an extent with guilty pleasures that any plot similar to theirs only makes me wait for mouthwatering action and punch which is sorely missing here. I have to agree that The Hunger Games dwells close to reality and that could be its USP. For me though, I would have preferred a little more happening throughout its almost 2 hour running time including some more good looking action. The Hunger Games is still a worthy watch and can be enjoyed at different levels. Go for it!!!…