24 March 2012

Hunger Games Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

Movie summary: The hunger games is about a young woman caught in circumstances outside her control, and ultimately the power of good to triumph over evil. The setting takes place in a near-future society in which twelve rebel provinces made peace at the price of giving up as tribute one boy and girl each year to appear in the Hunger Games--a battle royale to the death where only one can survive.

Jennifer Lawrence is lovely as Katniss Everdeen, the hero of the story, and virtual avatar of Artemis the Huntress. And unlike many media properties, the movie avoids the plague of turning female protagonists into kung-fu masters or some implausible equivalent. Katniss is an expert with a bow and arrow as a result of years of hunting for food for her family and friends. The result is a convincing character and a far more plausible plot that doesn't strain the bounds of believability. Nor does she suddenly become good at some skill in the few weeks of training they receive, another common trope which strains believability.

Similarly, though the story contains a minor thread of romance, the situation is not one-dimensional and does not insult your intelligence. There's no flash romance, but something far more significant.

I especially enjoyed the depictions of the oppressor society as especially decadent through the use of makeup and costuming. And the fact that the members of that society which we meet are not cardboard characters, but have lives of their own. The characters are fairly well drawn all the way around, making for a large amount of memorable scenes and moments.

The movie was well written, well acted, and well paced.

And the big question, does the ending pay off? Are you going to walk away satisfied? Honestly, the ending seemed just slightly odd to me in one respect, which I'll leave unnamed. I think the writer of the novel, Suzanne Collins, simply couldn't bring herself to carry out her scenario to its necessary conclusion, although she does make one character pay a heavy price for breaking the rules. I will say no more.

My recommendation: go see it, great movie.

And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go read the entire Hunger Games trilogy. Can't possibly wait for the next movie to show up!