The hunger games (2012) review

adarshmanuel By adarshmanuel, 31st Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Action

Most movie heroines are designed to make the audience want to protect them. With Jennifer Lawrence, the strong-willed star of The Hunger Games, the dynamic is different: we simultaneously yearn for her to protect us.

The hunger games (2012) review

This grotesque barbarism is justified as a historical tradition, punishment for an age-old uprising in the Districts against the rulers of the new country, Panem. The event has become entrenched in the culture of the wider nation, wrapped in decadent excitement and pseudo-sentiment. The model that comes closest to mind is the gladiatorial spectacle of the Roman Games, but the televisual fusion of sadism and entertainment in our own era isn’t far behind.

Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen, a young woman from District 12, whose circumstances are strikingly close to those of the character she played in her breakthrough film, Winter’s Bone: there is an absent father, a household on the brink of starvation, and a mother who isn’t quite up to the job, leaving Katniss to act as a parent to her younger sibling.

When her delicate sister Prim is picked in the annual “reaping” ceremony, to be the “Tribute” from her District, Katniss volunteers to go instead, and finds herself in the midst of an engineered contest of hype and horror, along with her male counterpart Peeta.

The set and costumes do a wonderful job of evoking the contrast between the gritty poverty of the Districts and gilded corruption of the Capitol, in which citizens are rouged, bewigged and thirsty for raw emotion and bloody combat.

Woody Harrelson plays a former winner of the Games who acts as a mentor to the District 12 contestants, moving from drunken cynicism to active support of his charges. Stanley Tucci, meanwhile, is deeply sinister as the chat show host who teases out pieces of heart-wrenching information from the contestants during the pampered, glitzy build-up, all so that the crowd can savour a greater sense of piquancy when a favoured “tribute” dies.

An uneasy sense of complicity with Panem’s morally repugnant viewers arises, at times, from the fact that we, too, are mesmerised by the painful struggle of the contestants to survive, although our fiction is their reality.

Lawrence’s clean-limbed character, though, provides a necessary moral anchor: like an old-fashioned hero, she is fleet of foot but brave of heart, and resolutely protective of the weak. Her toughness is allied to goodness, which comes as a relief after a period in which Hollywood scripts have regularly placed an icy-hearted male or female “trained assassin” centre stage – as though casual cruelty were the epitome of cool.


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author avatar adarshmanuel
I am a doctor from india.I am interested in writing about blogs

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author avatar Aditya Kishan
1st Apr 2012 (#)

nice work :)

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author avatar adarshmanuel
1st Apr 2012 (#)


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