We Have A Victor!
In a dystopian future where the Capital rules and 12 Districts serve, a game has been created to remind those 12 Districts who reigns supreme in this world. Every year one young man and one young woman from each district is chosen to compete in The Hunger Games where they will fight to be the last living survivor, and there can only be one victor. Katniss Everdeen has volunteered for district 12 and she aims to win if only for the sake of her sister.
The best part of this movie in my opinion is the casting. Jennifer Lawrence is flawless as Katniss. Woody Harrelson makes a disgustingly wonderful Haymitch. Hutcherson, while not as brawny as I had pictured Peeta, pulls off this sweet character swimmingly. Effie was annoying and my own personal delight was to find one of my favorites, Stanley Tucci playing Caesar Flickerman. The Jury though is still out with Donald Sutherland as President Snow, we'll see. As best they could, directors and writers kept to the original plot line and cut only what was absolutely necessary and the actors carried out their roles with acting finesse.
The rest of the movie was equally fantastic. I thought the overall tone and volume of the film was expertly done. There were scenes when I expected there to be background music playing but the volume of the silence created that mood of terrified despair while other silences perfectly conveyed a quiet, shy hope in the faces of the characters. The film was quick paced but slowed down long enough for those emotional scenes you wanted to drink in. Some of the effects at first glance seemed cheap and cheesy but I think those qualities only contributed to the characteristics of the inhabitants of the Capital. The effects that mattered though were top notch and I was so tense in parts that being 13 months pregnant there were scenes that brought on hot flashes and Braxton Hicks for me! I loved it! I'm pretty sure the movie will be most loved though by those who have read the book.
Motherly Advice: Yes, it is very violent. There is blood, there is some gore and there are teenagers killing teenagers. It was a little much for me but my husband claims it wasn't that bad. The worst of it comes in that first scene when the games have begun. While there is no blood spray or guts spilling out you see teens killing teens their own age and younger than them. The camera may cut away just before or after the killing blow but you still know exactly what happened and it's just as appalling. The most graphic death was seeing one of the older boys snap the neck of a younger boy and that kind of made me gasp, even though I knew it was coming. It's a violent movie. We all knew it would be. It's what the story is about but it's not what the story condones, it's quite the opposite. But it's still there so if violence is a tender subject matter for you then wait for the filter. The filter will probably be great, while choppy in areas due to the violence I think it'll filter up nicely. There is no bad language and no sex with one very clean kiss and the most immodest it gets is Katniss' shoulderless dress. There are two graphic wound scenes, but I have kind of a weak stomach for wounds so I'm not sure it was completely as gross as I thought. With it's PG-13 rating for violence I'm thinking it just depends on your teen and I don't want to put a specific age on it. Certainly not any younger than 13 though.
Danielle'- Hunger Games Sponsor
P.S. For those who are saying that it didn't live up to the book, here is something for you to think about: When you read any book you can internalize every feeling and mood created for you and by you. It gets in your head because that's where you yourself have to create the story before you. A book written in a first person narrative takes this wonderful phenomenon and multiplies it by a thousand because you get to be in the head of your hero, feeling what they feel, thinking what they think. A movie based on a book written in this narrative has absolutely no way of living up to your expectations no matter how good it is. A first person narrative simply cannot be recreated in movie form the way it can in book form. The Help came about as close as any movie can and as much as I loved it, it still fell short in this one area. Go into The Hunger Games with this understanding and an open mind and you'll enjoy yourself a lot more. You can only fit so much detail and description into a 2 1/2 hour movie.