by Joanna Orland
I have not yet read The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins, but this has not stopped me from getting swept away in the Hunger Games mania that is about to hit the big time when the film is released this Friday March 23rd.
For those out of the loop, The Hunger Games is set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television. Our heroine Katniss volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match, and hilarity ensues. Ok… maybe not hilarity at all, but gruesome fights to the death in the vain of X-Factor meets Battle Royale. It was all too familiar the way the Capitol groomed their male and female Tributes as though they were contestants on the nation’s biggest reality show. The Truman Show / Big Brother is watching you style of the Games combined with the Battle Royale style of every man for himself, makes this a gripping watch.
The story has all of the classic elements of what makes a good sci-fi film – crazy costumes and characters, unfathomable technology, an evil empire, and an empowered heroine much like Alien’s Ripley. Katniss is a character you can get behind. Her male counterpart in The Hunger Games is Peeta – and of course a love story is on the horizon.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss is fantastic. She underplays in everything I’ve seen her in, to a point of believability. She is natural and captivating in her presence. Peeta who is played by The Kids Are Alright’s Josh Hutcherson is cute and serves his purpose. Woody Harrelson as their mentor is fantastic as per usual, as is Donald Sutherland as Mister Evil Overlord himself. Lenny Kravitz is playing the same role he plays in Precious, and I’ve just realized that Wes Bentley is still alive! Elizabeth Banks should retire from acting, but at least she looked amazing as the zany Effie Trinket. And Stanley Tucci – well….. that’s some amazing dental work.
A stellar cast, an amazing story, a fantastic film. I am about to delve into the novels now. May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour.