The Hunger Games
Directed by: Gary Ross
Screenplay by: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, Billy Ray
Based on the novel by the same name written by Suzanne Collins
Release Date: March 21, 2012 (Philippines) March 23 2012 (Worldwide)
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland
Plot from MTV:

Based on the best-selling young-adult novel by author Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games tells the dark tale of a 16-year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who is selected to compete in a vicious televised tournament in which 24 teenagers from a post-apocalyptic society fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses. In the future, North America is no more. In its place has risen Panem, a divided nation split into 12 districts. Every year, each district selects a teen of each gender (called "Tributes") to test their worth in a competition known as the Hunger Games, which are broadcast across the nation as entertainment, and to reinforce the government's total power. When her younger sister is selected as District 12's latest "Tribute," Katniss volunteers to take her place, and trains under hard-drinking former Hunger Games champion Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) to sharpen her killer instincts. Now in order to survive the game and emerge the victor, this young combatant must put all of her skills to the ultimate test. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth co-star. 
~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.

So, the movie is finally in our theaters.Yes! And since my exams are finally over and I had free time before I make my term papers, I decided that yesterday that it was time to watch The Hunger Games.... Actually, it was not the open schedule that made me decide, I decided a long ago that I'd watch it on the first day - by myself if necessary. And I went indeed - by myself.

As I said, months ago when they announced the actors who are going to play the characters in the book, I would reserve judgment on them and the film as a whole when I've already seen the film. I gathered from movie-watching experience that casting, hype, marketing, and trailers are not all what they seem and the movie itself would always tell you if all those were worth it.

Therefore, now that I've already seen the movie I would give it:

I know there are many moments missing, some scenes were changed around, but I think that those were necessary, yet I would say that it captured the book quite astoundingly. It may not be an in-your-face adaptation but it certainly calmed and satisfied my being Hunger Games fan (and trilogy lover). The film actually captured the actuality of the life in District 12 - the poverty, the hunger, the hardship, harsh day-to-day-living -  and the morbid fun, raw horror, overwhelming emotions associated with the Hunger Games - the reaping, being a tribute, and the Games itself. How could one stomach to kill another in order for oneself to survive in this cruel "show" designed for "entertainment" that only masks to the truth: "We can do this to your children, better behave"? Golly, reading the book made my eyes popped out, gripped the book tightly and say "WTF" but seeing it onscreen... I think they toned down the violence a bit, you know... kids killing other kids...

As for the actors and actresses playing the characters from the book, I give two thumbs-up. They portrayed their characters with aplomb and I could reconcile them with the characters from the book. As usual, I take my hat off to Stanley Tucci for his role as Caesar Flickerman. I always admired him for his portrayals. But as I said, some characters were not able to shine since it focused more on Katniss. 

I know some of you folks are unhappy with the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss since she does not look like the book Katniss at all even if she dyed her hair and all that. You wanted an olive-skinned Katniss as described in the book. I also read some posts, comments and whatnot and some of you even went so far as labeling the casting decision as being racist and that there was a reason that S.C. described Katniss as a woman of color and it figures much into the plot of racism, oppression, poverty and the lot. I may agree with you on some point since the Seam, where Katniss and her family lived, was the part of town where the poorer residents lived and that most, if not all, of them had darker skin tone than the residents who live in the more affluent areas. However, with regards to casting, I could say that Jennifer Lawrence did a wonderful job with her portrayal of Katniss. It's not a matter of looks and figures that makes for a great film, folks, it's how the actors and actresses bring to life the characters they are portraying. If everything was based on how a character should look like and not how he or she should suppose to act then Daniel Radcliffe would not have been Harry Potter since he does not have black hair and green eyes (eyes that also made such a fuss in the fandom). I know it's such a sketchy example at best but my point is it's how they work their character, how they understand he or she enough to know who they really are.

Okay, I must admit I wanted to rant that piece for so long and I finally had the chance to. And I know the how Jennifer Lawrence sings would get some flak as well but I'm not going to go into that. One more thing: I didn't like Katniss' "Girl on Fire" outfit in the Tribute Parade. I expected to be wowed and say that "There she is! The Girl on Fire!" but meh, nope, I was not. I liked Effie's outfits though. So colorful!
Almost cried when Rue died. Almost. I just didn't want to cry in public.

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