Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its 12 districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson). If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
In coal-mining District 12, Katniss 16, previously hunts and provides for her family, since losing her father in a mining accident 4 years ago. She volunteers when outrageously costumed Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) draws the name of her beloved younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields). Effie calls for applause, instead the crowd raise silent three-finger salutes, their traditional gesture for respect and farewell at funerals.
With baker's son Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and support team, Katniss travels by luxury train to the extravagant Capitol. Haymitch sobers up, convinced by their rising chances. He warns that professional killer Career Tributes in Districts 1, 2 and 4 train full-time till age 18, and usually win.
Helped a team of prepping up, Katniss was scrubbed clean before she was sent to meet her stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz). He made her and Peeta wear customised outfits that can be set alight with artificial flames in order to ensnare the audiences during the Parade. It worked as expected, everyone's attention is drawn to her and Peeta. Peeta holds up her reluctant hand for roaring cheers, a first ever for a pair of tributes to show allegiance ahead of the Game.
Later on, during the interview session with blue-wigged Caesar (Stanley Tucci) in front of live audiences in the Capitol, the TV interviewer nicknames Katniss as "Girl on Fire" in reference to her outfit during the Parade. She is candid in her answer and emotively answers the question about Prim. She was dismissed and then Peeta was called out. During the session Peeta unexpectedly admits he has since long loved Katniss. She is angry at the apparent ploy for sponsors who provide in-Game gifts, but he is sincere. And Haymitch along with the rest of the prepping team members feel that it was a smart move to pose them as star-crossed lovers. it bumps her popularity amongst the audiences who shall be the Sponsors.
The 24 Tributes are given ample training before getting evaluated by the team of Gamemakers. Katniss evidently makes an impression when she leads the pack by the score of 11/12 to the much chagrin of other Tributes especially the Careers.
In a beautiful forested Arena, a Cornucopia of supplies lure most contestants to a bloodbath where half die, but Haymitch warns Katniss to abandon the Cornucopia and instead head straight for high ground and water. She did after grabbing the nearest bag filled with necessities, barely escaping the knive-throwing attack from Clove (Isabelle Fuhrman), a District 2 female Tribute. however, when she went to far away from the rest of the Tributes, the Gamemakers send fireball attacks to flush her out straight to the lake where the Allied Careers are gathering. In her attempt to flee, Katniss injured her legs and has to take refuge in the water springs where Allied Careers suddenly appear. Alongside with them is Peeta who is accepted to tag along to help track Katniss, but he convinces the Careers to wait overnight when they corner her up a tree.
Rue (Amandla Stenberg), District 11, very young and small, hiding nearby, points Katniss to a deadly tracker jacker nest. Katniss drops the nest onto the sleepers, and as the rest flee, she takes the bow and arrows from dead Glimmer (Lever Rambin) of District 1. Katniss hallucinates from the tracker jacker's venomous stings, and barely hears Peeta's shouts for her to run away and save herself from the rest of the Careers. She flees before collapsing unconscious somewhere in the forest.
Fortunately for Katniss, Rue finds her and due to her knowledge in Agriculture which her District 11 is famous of, manages to apply healing leaf compresses for two days on Katniss' wounds, and teaches her a mockingjay call signal. Recuperated, Katniss forms an alliance with Rue to destroy the means of survival of the Allied Careers. Deploying divide and attack tactics, Rue helps distract the Careers away from their gathering area and gives Katniss the opportunity to shoot apples to fall on land mines and explode the enemy stockpile of food and weapons, while a loner Female Tribute, Foxface distracts the guard. Furious to see their stuffs blown to bits, Cato (Alexander Ludwig), District 2, snaps the negligent guard's neck.
Katniss follows Rue's cries, and frees her from a net trap. Marvel (Jack Quaid), District 1, throws a spear at them but as Katniss dodges, Rue takes the hit. In anger, Katniss shoots him dead, then comforts the dying Rue. She piles flowers around Rue, and salutes farewell to the camera, starting riots in grain-growing District 11. Panem President Snow (Donald Sutherland) summons Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley), the Gamemaker, to express his displeasure. The intended safety valve for social unrest intended through the Hunger Games is having the opposite effect.
Despite Snow, Haymitch convinces Seneca to favor "underdogs" and "star-crossed lovers". An announcement allows both tributes from the same district to win. Katniss finds Peeta hiding, his leg infected due to a wound inflicted by Cato after he finds out that Peeta is actually helping Katniss. Another announcement promises what they need most is waiting at the Cornucopia area.
After Peeta falls asleep due to a sleeping drug sponsored through Haymitch's interference, Katniss goes to the Cornupia to get the medicine for Peeta's serious wounds. Clove, District 2, ambushes her, but pauses to gloat about killing Rue. Thresh, also District 11, kills Clove but spares Katniss, just this once, for Rue. Overnight, Peeta's wound vanishes under the retrieved medicinal cream.
Katniss goes to hunt while Peeta opts to gather food, but she catches him before he eats fatal Nightlock berries. Foxface, District 5, secretly following Peeta, lies dead from Nightlock. Katniss takes berries from her dead hand, in case they meet Cato who doesn't know that plant is deadly.
The sky instantly darkens, beasts bay, and Katniss recognizes the finale. Thresh screams. In memoriam, his image flashes in the sky, and the cannon booms his district number. Katniss and Peeta outrun the mutant hounds, climb atop the Cornucopia, but Cato holds a knife to Peeta's throat. Katniss wounds Cato and Peeta hurls him down to the feasts of the Muttations. Katniss shoots Cato to spare him an agonizing death.
Suddenly, the announcer revokes the rule allowing two winners. Peeta tells Katniss to kill him, instead she gives him half the Nightlock, fully aware that the Gamemakers can't afford losing their final victor. Hastily, the announcer stops them and proclaims both victorious.
Out of the arena, Haymitch warns Katniss that her defiance has made powerful enemies. Seneca, locked in a room with a bowl of Nightlock, presumably does commit suicide, maneuvered by Snow. Watching the televised victory return, Snow plans revenge.
i recently bought the Book. and use my imagination to navigate my comprehension of the story. Katniss and Peeta were magnificent in the book that upon watching the movie, i was thoroughly disappointed :(
only readers of the Book could understand the moves being made, the depth that was in the Book failed to be brought to the screen. oh such disappointment!
but the casting was excellent. Katniss and her temper during the session with the Gamemakers are marvelously done, i couldn't have imagined better. Peeta being the underdog that's in love with Katniss since forever.. well, the movie failed that. they should have preserved the storyline of the baker once in love with Katniss' mother. that could have helped a bit, i don't know.
and the scene where Katniss being starved only to be given a flicker of hope by Peeta at the cost of being struck by his mother for burning the bread. i mean, only Book readers can understand. plus, Katniss and Gage look so well-fed.
oh and i hate the message given through the sponsors' gifts. because i'd like to think Katniss is smart.
sigh. the movie was disappointment to me, the Book is not. so there, go read!