21 March 2012

Last night I was one of the few Australians lucky enough to catch the first film adaptation of The Hunger Games, which is drawn from Suzanne Collins' hugely popular three book series.

The film lived up to every one of my expectations as it left very little of the book on the cutting room floor. This movie is one for the girlfriends AND boyfriends, and I was very impressed.

The Hunger Games is set in a futuristic country called Panem, which was once believed to be North America. It is ruled by the Capitol, who demand that each year two "tributes" from each of the twelve districts must compete in the ultimate reality TV show - The Hunger Games, where they will fight to the death.

Jennifer Lawrence plays the leading lady, and as expected she blew us away by embodying the role of Katniss Everdeen!

At 21 years old in real life, Jennifer is more mature looking than how I imagined Katniss to be, however does a stellar job of playing the quiet and reserved yet strong willed character. An amazing display of girl power as of course Katniss is the best player in The Hunger Games!

Josh Hutcherson- what a babe! Josh personified the kind, humble Peeta and looked out for Katniss every step of the journey. Such a loveable character.

If you're going into this film thinking that it will focus on the love triangle between Gale, Peeta and Katniss, then you will be disappointed, because as in the books Gale appears in the first few scenes and then largely disappears for the rest of the film. Liam Hemsworth plays the brooding character, and I'm looking forward to seeing him feature more in the next two movies!

Check out our exclusive interviews with Liam, Josh and Jennifer!

The movie is primarily set in the arena, and everything from the cornucopia to the beautiful forest was as I imagined. The special effects of the film were all amazing, even down to the fiery carriage Katniss and Peeta ride in on!

The costumes of the citizens from "The Capitol" are also incredible, lots of colour, and very futuristic. This lay in stark contrast to District 12's poverty-stricken populace.

The soundtrack, like any good film score, underlays the storyline beautifully and in this film is mainly orchestral. While I was listening out for Taylor Swift's songs, I didn't really hear them until the final credits rolled.

Listen to The Hunger Games soundtrack here!

There has been a lot of talk about the film being too violent, but I would say it's probably on par with Harry Potter. I'll be honest, the kids are going to get scared in parts, because I certainly was! Reading the books first is a good idea!

As expected, death is a prevalent theme throughout the film, and the death of children especially. The violent scenes are short and upsetting, but the idea that we should not glorify death or become desensitized by it is pretty much what the essence of The Hunger Games is all about!

If you were wondering, this movie is waaaaaaaay better than Twilight, it has colour, the storyline is progressive and more importantly this movie has zero cheese.

I give it 9 mockingjay pins out of 10.

Review by Stephanie Toomey

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