The Hunger Games takes a step out of the games, and into a full blown revolution…

 

While I was a little worried that the least popular novel (just ask any THG fan) of The Hunger Games would turn out just like the book (let alone that it has been dragged out into two equal parts), but I’m happy to say that it has certainly translated triumphantly from page-to-screen and has actually turned my thoughts around on the final book.

It really steps up the revolutionary and dystopian theme, something which was a little more subtle in previous films. This is no longer the games, as the stakes have been raised to an all time devastating and life-threatening high within the society of the film.

Jennifer Lawrence is again amazing as Katniss here, as she channels all the right emotions by embracing the new Katniss as a symbol of hope and rebellion. Also Liam Hemsworth (Gale) has a beefed up-role in this one as he takes over typical Peeta romantic screen-time, while Willow Shields (Prim) also gets to shine a little more in this instalment as she comforts her sister through the horrific ordeals she has faced. Elizabeth Banks brings the humour again to an otherwise grim instalment and surprises in the growth of her crazy character, Effie Trinket.

Newcomers Julianne Moore as President Coin is superb, as she truly evolves into an almost unrecognisable leader, that at time clashes with Katniss.  Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) also proves a nice addition as her rebel team member and media savvy reporter on Katniss’s rebellion campaign.

Its certainly got a different vibe to it, as visuals fit into the war-torn rubbled dystopian world than the greenery or beach landscapes in previous instalments. Soundtrack-wise, Lorde provides for a stunning end credits song, “Yellow Flicker Beat” alongside the usual THG themed score. We also get to hear Jennifer Lawrence show off her vocals in one scene (something Jen Law revealed to be the most embarrassing and hardest moments to film) and their actually quite great! But never fear, you musical-film haters as it’s no Les Miserables musical ensemble film.
In terms of following from previous instalments, Catching Fire flows quite well between the two and I’d actually recommend watching it beforehand as it takes a bit of adjusting to catch-up on previous events. Oh and be warned, the split is gonna drive fans and new audiences alike mad… kinda like Harry Potter did in its time, when Voldemort stole the Elder Wand.
VERDICT: Another powerfully strong and faithful adaption for The Hunger Games series, which this time around adds and improves on its original source material.
Overall Rating:

8.5/10

 

– Shahbaz Malik

Image: Lionsgate

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