"May the odds be ever in your favor" lady give me something better to rely on
The film opens up with 16 year old Katniss Everdeen, a superb performance by the ever talent growing Jennifer Lawrence, who is comforting her sister Prim before the start of what is called "Reaping". No that terrible movie with Hilary Swank but an event where people from the capitol come to take a young boy and girl from the 12 districts that surround the Capitol and make them fight to the death on public television. Sounds terrible but still people still watch it, even those in the district. Sounds familiar to our society nowadays. For a brief five to ten minutes we are introduced to Everdeen's world, although it is stricken with poverty, there are those moments where wonder and beauty enters it. The beauty is expanded even more when Gale (Liam Hemsworth) is introduced and is quite the good friend to her and such as the example when she goes hunting in the wondrous woods. Each main character is very very well explained not through only words but also by what they do. Their actions tell a lot here. Not only is there good characteristics, but also bad and trust me, there are a lot of bad elements here.
Katniss and Peeta, played by a surprisingly remarkable performance by Josh Hutcherson, are both chosen to participate in the Hunger Games. Katniss volunteers due to Prim being chosen and she offering to take her place. They both are taken to the capitol accompanied by a colorfully dressed Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket and the ever hilarious Woody Harrelson as their mentor Haymitch. Haymitch is one who has survived the Hunger Games before and there is a lot, a LOT of work to be done here, especially when these two have no idea how much survival instincts will count here. The talented Caesar Flickerman, played by a hilarious and exuberant Stanley Tucci, only adds to this growing masterpiece, giving much humor needed to boost this film from becoming too serious. Through the many introductions and training, Katniss and Peeta know how difficult this will all be. If its difficult now how much more difficult will it be out there in the arena? With President Snow, played by a intimidating Donald Sutherland controlling the entire event, the stakes are very very high indeed. I won't give too much away, but I do have to say this : May the odds be ever in your favor indeed.
Now, focusing back on the track where people mention this book and comparing it to twilight and already fans are pouring in on the notions of team Gale or Peeta. Honestly, I do not mind the second part because this film is one that deserves that. Twilight is not a masterpiece, has been failing from the start of its transformation into film and will never reach this level. There is nothing at all to be compared between these two film franchises, Hunger Games is becoming a franchise and I cannot wait to see the other two installments, except the fact a love triangle is clearly forming around Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. Hell, that doesn't even compare.
The visual effects on the film were not particularly outstanding, the capitol and the works on the creatures and transportation looked okay, nothing too huge. The cinematography however I loved. The shaky camera technique is used a LOT in this film especially when they are all in the arena, running through the woods, it helps build up the suspense when it has already been built. The lighting also helps the scenery, the woods, majestic and I think it has to do with an emphasis on nature but not only that but of course our character katniss. My particular favorite shot is when Rue is dying slowly and we are in a point of view shot and the lighting as she looks up into the trees gets brighter and brighter, somewhat emphasizing on heaven and the nature of her character.
Gary Ross did an absolutely amazing job on this film, he walked in and gave it the best he got and with works such as "Seabiscuit" and "Pleasantville" behind him he knew how to work with the actors and told them to bring the best of their characters which they very well did. He understood the seriousness and the gravity of drama on this film and applied it very well to make everything believable and understandable. I felt like I was in this situation myself and for the entirety of the film I was thinking what would I be like participating in this event?
The score by James Newton Howard is amazing and it is a strong part of the blueprint of each scene. He manages to control the scene very well without the music being too too over the top. Finally, he places his music in a film where it is actually worthy of the score (cough, Last Airbender, cough)
Overall, the film is a must see and I have seen this already three times. I am getting tired of seeing it again and again constantly but when the chance comes again which I hope will not be too soon, I will see this again for sure. Do not miss it and make sure to bring some tissues. The next great book-film franchise to grace the screen has been found.