Hungry for More - A review of "The Hunger Games"
Jennifer Lawrence shines in this story of an underdog who must use all her wits to survive in this post-apocalyptic tale.
It is the future. The world as we know it no longer exists. And while the U.S. is still there (sort of), it's no longer the progressive forward thinking country it once was.
Instead, it's a narcissistic culture where the wealthy wager on the exploits of tributes in a nationally televised game show of sorts, "The Hunger Games", where kids, aged 12 to 18, battle each other to the death to win honor for their districts.
There are 12 districts altogether. Each must send two tributes (as they're called), one male and one female, to the games. They are praised, fed, exploited, trained and then murdered one by one in live televised broadcasts.
And all the while, the game producers try to think of newer and more sinister ways of taunting and dispatching them.
Into this situation, we are introduced to Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year old girl who volunteers for the games to save her much younger sister. After all, the younger children rarely last long in these contests, especially against the generally much more brutal older boys and girls.
Is this a parable of real life? After all, we routinely ship our kids off to fight in brutal hellholes around the world, letting our youth die for the honor of serving the country in which we live.
Perhaps. But I am viewing this story not so much as a real life commentary, but as entertainment as we see it today. This is not a movie for the faint of heart. And when even some of the kids we meet are devoid of basic human compassion, we don't feel remorse when we see them brutally dispatched.
But then, there are the ones we can feel for. For instance, the young girl who befriends Katniss and nurses her back to health, knowing full well that the older girl would probably have to kill her before the event is over.
But that's what this film is really all about, you see. It's about the courage to stand up and fight for what is right, rather than simply play by the rules.
Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic as Katniss. She exudes just the right amount of strength and fortitude necessary for us to believe that she was born to fight in these games. At the same time, she has a vulnerability in her that almost makes you cringe to think she might not make it through this.
But this is show business...and heroes survive to fight another day.
This is the type of movie that will go down as classic cinema. We're already wating with baited breath for the next installment. And it will more than likely have the same box office stamina the likes of a Harry Potter or a band of hobbits.
After all, the odds are ever in it's favor.