The Hunger Games

wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

quick review:

Watch The Hunger Games – not just so it can blow your mind away with its un-thinkable premise (for which the book takes credit) but mostly for its representation of a Futuristic America, its ability to hold a mirror to our urban practices to make us question our existence as it stands.

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Director: Gary Ross
Running time: 142 minutes
Genres: Action, Sci-fi
More Movie Info

The best thing about a science fiction/fantasy film is not in its ability to make us imagine. It’s the ability that a film has to represent what we consider “human” or “normal” in a deliriously make-believe manner. The Hunger Games stumps you with its basic idea, but once you move beyond its premise, it manages to captivate you with the manner in which the message is told. For its ability to push you to fantasize beyond your regular boundaries of imagination, The Hunger Games is two and a half hours of intellectually-fuelled fantasy that you deserve.

The Hunger Games has an extremely disturbing premise. Set in the futuristic city of Panem in America, based on the sci-fi novel of the same name written by Suzanne Collins, the movie revolves around the Annual Hunger Games. The Capitol city conducts The Hunger Games every year, to remind the 12 districts constituting Panem, of their authority and power. 24 teenagers or “tributes” as they are called are pitted against each other in the jungles in a survival-of-the-fittest type reality show, and only one emerges winner. As they battle it out, blood-wars and deceptions included, the people of the Capitol city celebrate it as a sporting event.

The point is well made in your head by then, as an audience. You are indirectly told that a harsh remark is being made at the idea of urbanization. By the time the 24 teens enter the jungles you are well acquainted with the bizarre practices of the Capitol city.

The film up till this point holds your attention, allows you to enter a world that is magnificently mocking and makes you sit-up and draw comparisons between Capitol City and planet Earth. But the moment the 24 kids enter the jungles, each adventure then becomes a tad bit predictable. A predictability that works but because it has such a meticulously-stimulating first half, it’s almost as if you’re transported into a different film.

The two lead “tributes” Katniss Evergreen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are shown to be in love, because the Capitol authorities believe the audiences want something to hope for – they soon have a romance angle that is staged for the purpose of entertainment. It makes you want to feel ashamed of being a part of a generation that celebrates facades, and staged realities. The action in the jungle sequence has a few endearing moments too. – with relationships brewing between participants, in a situation of absolute rivalry.

Oscar-nomited Jennifer Lawrence (As Katniss) brings the desired poker-faced burdened performance to her character – you immediately empathize with her, and hence agree with every move she makes during the games. In that sense, it’s important that the film’s protagonist makes that connection with its audience, which Lawrence manages well.

As a film set in a post-apocalyptic future, The Hunger Games makes for a visual delight. With gritty, high intensity shots of the jungles that serve as a stark opposite to the urban “jungle” of the Capitol, the picture leaves you spell-bound.

The Hunger Games is captivating in that it allows us to place a mirror at our own “evolved” practices. The representation of the people of the Capitol is remarkably innovative and even though a little loud you don’t question the colored mustaches, the golden eye make-up – as they all serve as facades that we, as urban, bureaucratic puppets, often wear. The Hunger Games then is a well-thought, ingenious film with a promise of a sequel that I am waiting for with bated breath.

This review is by guest reviewer Swetha Ramakrishnan. Swetha Ramakrishnan is currently living and working in Mumbai. She's a self-confessed film enthusiast and can most likely be found talking to anyone and everyone about popular cinema and her love for SRK. Swetha Ramakrishnan also blogs at

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2 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 1 nays

Want to Watch, by poul : The Hunger Games

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Bigwave Sonnenbrillen

Nay! Thumbs Down, by guddu : Hunger games

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Many violent scenes, scene with wasps is terrifying
  • Language: American English only, no expletives
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: A reality show called The Hunger Games and how 24 kids battle it out in the woods
  • General Look and Feel: Gritty, grand and fantastical

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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The Hunger Games - Cast, crew, links

Running time:
142 minutes

Comments (1)

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Sweta , dis is one film admired by d critics and i found it to b heavily flawed. First d painsticking length of d film, secondly its story which is haphazardly inspired from so many films most closely to "Battle Royale". I am not going to argue wid u about abt ur likeness to dis film , i m only going to say i didn't found any merit in d movie back den.

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