The surprisingly dark, gripping third installment of the Hunger Games franchise continues the series’ upward trend; this film is the best yet.
The beloved Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), two-time survivor of the Hunger Games and now reluctant hero attempts to lead the revolt against the totalitarian regime of the Capitol and the ever terrifying President Snow (Donald Sutherland). All the while, her love interest and companion in both games, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is imprisoned and tortured by the aforementioned Capitol and President.
This film delves deep into the political revolution and the hands different characters have in it. It also focuses on the post-traumatic stress and intense distress Katniss faces after her experience in the games, the destruction of her home and Peeta’s capture.
Both Lawrence and Hutcherson’s performances were brilliant and the rest of the cast’s acting was a definite improvement from the previous films.
Lawrence, once again, does an absolutely amazing job of playing the beaten and broken hero as her character struggles with conflictions about the revolution, guilt over Peeta’s capture and the residing trauma from her past. Hutcherson’s portrayal of his character’s descent into madness as a result of falling prisoner to the Capitol is incredible, if not even a little disturbing.
Liam Hemsworth, who play the role of Gale Hawthorne–Katniss’ best friend and other love interest–had a much bigger role in this film than prior installments, and I have to say he really stepped up to the plate. Although some lines were a little cheesy overall he did a much better job.
Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch Abernathy and Elizabeth Banks’ Effie Trinket provided a much needed, sort of dark comic relief that was very entertaining.
My only complaint is that this film was not as action-packed as the others, which I think it made up for with the intense drama as well as the fact that it was indeed only part 1 and the action is yet to come.
What really made this movie for me, though, was the absolutely astounding book-to-movie adaptation. Lines from the book were most of the time word-for-word and I don’t believe there was any important moment in the book that didn’t make it on screen. All in all, definitely a must-see.