Film Review: Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games’ Delivers for Fans
CHICAGO – What is remarkable about the book phenomenon known as “The Hunger Games” is how rich, literary and symbolic the series is, considering they are for a “young adult” audience. Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Josh Hutcherson bring the characters to life.
Easily one of the most highly anticipated book-to-film interpretations of the year, “The Hunger Games” succeeds by drawing on its source directly, and adding touches of scenic and character wonder that astounds the senses, satisfying the feel and depth of the books. Jennifer Lawrence is a perfect Katniss, one of the most anticipated literary protagonists put to film since Harry Potter. The pacing is deliberate, but conveys a solid punch by the end that ripples emotionally and symbolically that is about to significantly alter its “fictional” landscape.
“The Hunger Games” are set in a future United States territory that has been devastated by war and has evolved into a functionary and fascist country. Instead of states, there are 12 Districts, each contributing resources that are controlled by “the Capitol” and unobtainable for most of the citizenry. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) lives in District 12, the coal provider, and helps keep a small family together that includes her beloved sister Prim (Willow Shields).
Every year, the districts gather to send two young representatives to the Hunger Games, a reality TV contest that is a last-person-standing fight to the death. When Prim is picked for District 12, Katniss steps up and takes her place. The boy picked is Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and together they head to the Capitol to participate, and forever intertwine their lives. On the journey through the competition they will encounter a mentor named Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), flighty Effie (Elizabeth Banks), fashion designer Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), weird TV host Caesar (Stanley Tucci) and their fellow contestants, who all want them dead.
Photo credit: Murray Close for Lionsgate