In the future in a country rebuilding from a civil war, an young girl is chosen for a televised annual fight-until-death gladiatorial contest using the lottery scheme. In order to save the young girl, her older sister Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take part in the contest. With excellent hunting skills, Katniss is not an underdog and has all the chances of winning the contest. But will she be able to kill the other contestants in the same way she hunts for food?
Gary Ross directs this movie adapted from the novel, bearing the same name, written by Suzanne Collins. The movie is an engaging watch because of the emphasis on emotional struggles of Katniss instead of the action. The action is not ignored but it is treated as a backdrop. Katniss goes through vigorous training followed by physical struggle in the jungle. Even when this happens, an young Katniss is constantly coming to terms with lack of confidence, uncertain future, poor/rich divide and emotionally insensitive fellow human beings. It is this struggle which is translated to the screen with a good actress. This struggle is heightened by the shaky camera technique used during the beginning of the movie. The forest is so beautifully pictured in the movie to the point you are distracted from the action. On the flip side, all characters except Katniss becomes a caricature. Also, the romance between the lead pair is not convincing.
Jennifer Lawrence captures the internal turmoil of Katniss beautifully. Her face has a sad and lost look which amplifies the drama experienced by Katniss. All the other big wigs like Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks are dwarfed due to her performance and bad adaptation.
A good way to spend the weekend.