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In a not-too-distant future, North America has fallen apart, crippled by drought, fire, famine and war to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives from each district, one boy, one girl, aged 12-18 are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. The 24 participants are forced to kill each others as there can be only one survivor. The Hunger Games are broadcast throughout Panem with all citizens required to watch.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrenece) volunteers to represent District 12 when her twelve-year-old sister, Primrose “Prim” (Willow Shields) is selected. Together with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the male tribute from District 12, they will be pitted against stronger opponents who have been training for their whole lives.
Before the games begin, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), a drunk and the only survivor from District 12 mentors both Katniss and Peeta. Stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) is assigned to prepare Katniss to help her make a good impression with the sponsors before the games begin. Peeta confesses his crush on Katniss since childhood during the introduction and hence, make both Peeta and Katniss popularity goes up.
Once in the arena, Katniss must rely on her wits and her hunting skills in order to survive. As tributes from Districts 1 and 2, led by Cato (Alexander Ludwig) gang up in an attempt to get rid of Katniss, Rue (Amandla Stenberg) from District 11, a tribute with the least odd to win The Hunger Games rescues her and becomes her ally. When Rue is killed by a member from Team Cato when she falls into their booby trap, Katniss becomes depressed and angry at the Capitol, her sadness is shared among the people of District 11 and causes a riot in District 11.
In order to keep things back in order, the organizer decides to change the rule of the games by allowing two survivors as long as they are from the same district. That prompts Katniss to find Peeta only to discover that he’s critically injured. When Katniss tries to retrieve medicines for Peeta, she is almost killed by Cato’s follower until Thresh saves her. Thresh spares Katniss life this time around because of Rue’s friendship with her.
During the finale, Katniss and Peeta have the run of their lives in order to escape a carnivorous monster created by The Capitol’s programmers (which is later spawned into five). When they reach the apex of a steel tent at the starting base, they realize that Cato is there too. The brawl ends with Cato threatens to kill Peeta by twisting his neck. Katniss shoots an arrow onto the hand of Cato instead of his head and Cato falls off the tent and is eaten alive by the monsters.
When Katniss and Peeta think they have already won, the organizer decides to change the rule and makes them kill each other. As both Katniss and Peeta are in love with each other, they decide to kill themselves by consuming poisonous berries only to have the organizer to let both of them live.
Overall, The Hunger Games is well-played with a balance mix of romance, emotions, violence and action. The film is no doubt heart-pumping and enthralling from start to finish with solid performance from Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. Good news is that the second film is already in the making and is scheduled to be released in November 2013.
Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!
8 out of 10
Entertaining and enthralling film to watch even if you don’t read the book