The hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

Happy hunger games and may the odds be ever on your favour.

Now that the final Hunger Games is in cinema. I thought it was time to go back to 2012, when everyone though the world was going to end and review the first Hunger Games movie. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the new Hunger Games yet so don’t blame me for bringing up the past without knowledge of the future.

the hunger games

The capitol AKA. The government in charge puts on an event every year, where two tributes from each district must go into an arena and fight to the death. Yes, I may have just described the plot of Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000). But there is a lot more love involved in the Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as tribute for her little sister; she pretends to fall in love with Peter Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), in an attempt to win the hearts of the viewers and save herself.

Don’t worry if all that information was hard to follow, the film goes into great detail, through text at the very start of the movie. Nothing is better than reading when you come to WATCH something. This is followed by our hero telling her little sister that she will not get picked for the Hunger Games. So of course she will be the first one picked. You have to love foreshadowing, even if it is as lazy as this. However, we could always blame this on the book.

Luckily from our little sister Prim (Willow Shields), her big sister is already an expert hunter and survivalist that has the ability to shoot anyone and anything with a bow and arrow.  So don’t worry when Katniss goes into the games, she is already bad ass. And to send her off, the entire district does the … scout solute.

Despite bad use of omens, the film does offer some fantastic political and economic issues, such as the rich taking advantage of the poor for their own gain or in this case entertainment. We also see the rich just flaunting the wealth they have. But when the rich dresses like 2009 Lady Gaga, I don’t think I want to live in the capitol. Mind you the houses and food look pretty good (Lots of mahogany).

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Capitol Costume Competition

Members of the public turn up at London’s Marylebone Station dressed as Effie Trinket as part of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Capitol Costume Competition in which the winner gets to attend the ‘Mokingjay: Part 1’ premiere Featuring: Effie Trinkets Where: London, United Kingdom When: 16 Mar 2014 Credit: Euan Cherry/

For our tributes to go in with a head start each district is given a mentor and luckily for both us and our tributes from district 12, their mentor Hamish (Woody Harrelson) is a drunk, who is convinced that they are going to die. So it’s good to know that the film wants to give everyone no hope towards the fate of our characters. But luckily for Katniss she has Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) a fashion designer, who obviously knows all about survival.

The tributes also get to practise in a training centre beforehand. This training includes, rope climbing, painting and button pressing. All the things you need to learn before hunting other people in the woods.  However, as some of the much more cleaver district members have trained all their lives, they have a strong advantage over the others. To be fair, if I was in any of the districts I would train all the time just in case I get picked and the reaping.

Even though I have picked the film apart, the best scene by far is when she shoots an arrow at the judges for not paying attention to her ‘audition’. It is a sure fire way to get their attention and get some extra marks on your CV. This theory proves its merit when Katniss is given a score 11/ 12, the best of all the tributes.

In addition, like previously mentioned the film brings up some controversial issues. Our tributes must please an audience so they can get sponsors, in order to survive. Yes, the event that causes 23 innocent people to be murdered is turned into a beauty pageant to be used as entertainment for the capital. The games even have a presenter played by the highly charismatic Stanley Tucci. Luckily, Katniss does this well by setting two of her dresses on fire.

I don’t want to be star crossed lovers.

It’s a television show.

Like all films the conventions would be incomplete with a love interest. In the beginning one sort of hates the other and in the end they fall in love… until the next film, where they repeat the process.

About 45 minutes into the film the tributes finally entre the arena, where all the action kicks off. The characters are all given a cool jacket and a pushed onto some pedestals. They then fight to the death for the rest of the film or just fight for 10 seconds over a sleeping bag. But I do have to give credit to the film; the use of sound or lack of is incredible. With only music and no Foley, dialogue or sound effects, it adds to the drama and creates tension.

If other people within the arena trying to kill Katniss is bad enough then it doesn’t help when the games makers are trying to burn her with fire balls. This gives a whole new meaning to ‘the girl on fire’. However, when she survives this, she is instantly forced up a tree by a group of blood thirty teenagers. Who luckily get their comeuppance when she drops a wasp’s/ Tracker Jacker nest on their heads.

The saddest part by far is Rue (Amandla Stenberg), even though you don’t see much of her, you will get attached. She is pretty much the only character Katniss forms an alliance with but the film states only one will win. So expect tears. Who knew a film about the death of children could be so sad?

After this devastating scene, the film is kind enough to give us a bit of hope and allows two tributes to win if they are from the same district. This means that Katniss and Peter are given the chance to live and have lots of babies. Yay! But like most governments, the capital goes back on their word …again, there can only be one winner. But with a hand full of poison berries and a can do attitude, Katniss and Peter are fine. Well until the next film of course.

I would give this film five stars, only because I love all of the films and the book. What did you think of the film?

How have you not seen this?

Deathbyapril- April Ely.

For more updates follow me on twitter @aprilely31 and Instagram deathbyapril


If you liked this check out my review on

The Duff (Ari Sandel,2015)


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