Thursday, 22 March 2012
REVIEW: THE HUNGER GAMES
Days Of Hunger.
110 Minutes. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci & Donald Sutherland. Director: Gary Ross . Screenplay: Garry Ross
The world finally gets to watch what we've all been waiting for. Cult fans of Suzanne Collins classic read are finally fed with 'The Hunger Games' and they needn't be hungry anymore. The one film that can make young book/cinema worms close their 'Twilight' and 'Harry Potter' novels and leave other cinema releases starved for gate receipts is here. This cinematic event is the most hotly and highly anticipated films of the year. Right now 'The Hunger Games' has taken over 'The Avengers' and believe it or not even 'The Dark Knight Rises' in hype and excitement. Now the worlds box offices are next.
OK this writer admits he hasn't read the book. Somewhere between autobiographies and magazines I've missed the bandwagon. Still going in to this picture blind offers the opportunity for a fresh, unbiased perspective and what a reel turner this was. Genuinely this story is the truth. Its an ascending tall tale of tremendous reach and depth, as this survival of the fittest, 'Battle Royale' really comes out fighting, taking bow and arrow shots at everything from reality television to the reality of modern day society. Now this writer really wants to read the book. Cover to cover because this film is classic by the chapter, scene by scene.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss shows more moxie and acting abilities then her turn as Mystique in 'X-Men: First Class' with another top rate performance leading the way with super-charged character and emotion. Along with heart-filled performances from love interests Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) and Gale played by Liam Hemsworth (part of the next great acting family), Lawrence is the young, hot future of acting. In fact from the most loved (Rue played beautifully by Amandla Stenberg) to hated (Cato played perfectly by Alexander Ludwig with hate and loathing) tributes of these games of hunger, new acting kids are made on the block. Established stars Elisabeth Banks and legends Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland bring their influential inspiration to some iconic characters too, but the classic turns come from some seemingly ageless and listlessly talented 50 year olds.
Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz mentor and style these kids, showing that this isn't just a young persons game. The ever great Harrelson comes off his award worthy small ('Game Change') and silver ('Rampart') screen turns to show he really is one of the most versatile and therefore best actors around today. Put him in the top ten. Chart topping musician Lenny Kravitz also shows us he rocks the screen too. After 'Precious' time and his daughter Zoe's own appearance alongside Lawrence in 'X-Men', Kravitz shows he's heaven sent styling as character favourite Cinna. No wonder he didn't have to audition...this guy can act.
Take all the actors attributed, all the directing districts if suspense, shock, silence, tension, twists and turns what you are left with is the future of mainstream movie dominance. Even 'The Hobbit' may have a hard time becoming the lord of the rings as 'The Hunger Games' looks to ring the changes in cinema today. Sure some of the darkest and desperate elements of the book are skimmed through, but even when this movie doesn't go exactly by the book it still flips the script in the right way.
From terrifying prophecies to thrilling set-pieces one of the most read and talked about books is brought to life. No wonder this film was greeted in cinemas with cheers as round the world applause and surely awards are making their way. Even in true blockbuster year for movies and bestselling time for books this is the story that's getting told and told. From word of to the horses mouth, people aren't talking about much else. There can only be one winner now and more than the odds are in this films favour. Let the games begin. TIM DAVID HARVEY.