Thank God for multiplexes, where motion pictures run simultaneously all day. This makes the odds ever in your favour of acquiring a few tickets after braving long lines to watch the box office smash hit of this year – The Hunger Games.
Although I hadn't read the books, the hype surrounding this screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' novel Hunger Games, which is a part of a trilogy, intrigued me enough to spend some well-spent dollars on this American epic that grossed more than $155 million dollars last week in North America alone.
Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year older survivalist from District 12 of Panem, a totalitarian state that has risen from the post war ashes of America. Everdeen not only has a heart of gold, but also knows how to hunt like a medieval warrior. In a land where food is scarce, one boy and one girl from each District is put in the draw to be part of the ultimate reality show called the Hunger Games. The film is directed by Gary Ross, of Seabiscuit fame.
The plot is simple. Katniss volunteers to become part of the games in place of her younger sister. Along with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), she become the tribute of District Twelve. Katniss and Peeta also become the star-crossed lovers during the games, which might lead them to emerge as victors from a game where only one can win.
After being announced by bubbly, Nicky Minaj-meets-Lady Gaga MC Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), the duo head to meet with their mentor, an alcoholic and former winner of the games, Hamitch (Woody Harrelson). Upon their first meeting he tells them they are going to die and the only way to survive this contest is to get people to like them and sponsor them.
When the games begin with the motto of the Hunger Games- May the Odds be Ever in Your Favour, nothing looks simple. Many of the tributes who entered the contest are killed right away and of course Katniss and Peeta end up battling to the end. Will some help from their mentor, deadly bees whose stings can kill, mocking jays and blueberries help Katniss and Peeta survive?
The film also stars Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, who styles the tributes for public display while also providing moral support to them. Aussie Liam Hemsworth plays Gale, who becomes one of the central characters in the films that are to follow. Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray have written the screenplay.