Set in the futuristic North American nation of Panem, The Hunger Games is based on the 2008 best-selling novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. The plot is fairly simple. Out of 12 poverty-stricken districts, one girl and one boy between the age of 12 and 16 are selected to represent their district in a reality show of sorts where everyone goes on a killing spree, and ultimately there is only one victor, who is showered with wealth and respect.

The game is televised for all the viewers, and can be manipulated to any extent by the creators. The people believe that the hunger games are the only way that they can “remember their past and safeguard their future.” It acts as a reminder to them that their freedom had been obtained with a heavy cost. The participants are transferred to the Capitol, where they are trained in the art of survival and warfare before they enter the arena to fight it out.

Katniss Everdeen, (Jennifer Laerence), volunteers for her district when her sister’s name is picked in the lots. Along with her partner Peeta, she goes on to represent District 12 at the 74th Edition of ‘The Hunger Games’. The film raises several issues like poverty and inequality, but the one that it manages to showcase very well is the control of the state over individuals.

Everyone’s acting cannot be termed as ‘phenomenal’, but Jennifer Lawrence and Stanley Tucci, who plays the television host for ‘The Hunger Games’ deserve a round of applause for keeping the audience captivated throughout the movie. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, a former winner of this show, backs them up well.

What stands out in the movie is the exceptional usage of both audio (especially the mockingjays and the soundtrack for death) and visual effects. It ensures that the movie does not stagnate at any point of time and keeps the suspense on a continuous rise. Some brilliant still photography by Murray Close adds to its brilliance. Every frame has been composed beautifully, thereby making this movie a visual treat.

Though the movie constantly reminded me of ‘The Triwizard Tournament’ from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, some of the characters look as if they have popped out of Tim Burton’s imagination. It manages to remain extremely fast-paced and give the viewer an adrenaline rush within every few minutes. The Hunger Games stands out to be a good story which has been executed brilliantly. Watch it – it definitely an investment worth making.