The folks at Lionsgate have been controlling the images and intel that comes out of The Hunger Games movie set as if they really were officials from the Capitol of Panem, but even they have to recognize the fans are starving so they’ve begun tossing us a few visual crumbs to munch on. Now, in addition to the animated movie poster that was the first “image” to be released, we have some official still shots of the principles in costume, and here they all are!
If you know the Hunger Games books (and who doesn’t?!), then you can tell that these photos are being released in an order that begins to tell the story. First, we get to see Peeta the baker’s son – dependable, invisible . . . buff!
We see the longing in his eyes and feel the gray mist of District 12’s coal country, and instinctively we like and trust this guy. We wish him a far better fate than we know will be his.
Then, just when we’re feeling drawn to “Team Peeta,” the second image tells us all we need to know about the chemistry between Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen and Liam Hemsworth’s Gale Hawthorne.
But, as easy as the boys are on the eyes, this movie has a female lead; so, the newest pair of pictures released gives Jennifer Lawrence he whole frame to herself.
Skeptics worried that Lawrence was too old, too blonde, too . . . um . . . hot to play 16 year old, desperate and dark-souled, Katniss Everdeen; but, the powers that be want to put our concerns to rest. Lawrence’s Katniss is beautiful (how could she not be?), but she is also young and scared and very, very desperate. This is good.
The final image that has been released takes us back to the boys. Peeta again. This time, we see him far, far away from his parents’ bakery in District 12.
Surely, we’re in the arena, here. If Peeta isn’t already terribly wounded, we know that he soon will be. But, he wears his fate well, it seems. If we thought we saw a bit of resignation in the eyes of that boy in front of the bakery, we now know that we didn’t have the slightest idea. This is resignation–the kind of resignation that lets you pretend to love the woman you really do love in order to die so that she doesn’t have to. But, let’s wait on the movie to untangle that one.
Bottom line, these images are very, very promising. Everyone is excited about the film, and you certainly couldn’t shove more talent into one project than they’ve tried to do on this one. (T-Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman on the soundtrack. Steven Soderberg directing the second unit. Are you kidding me?) They’ve attached so many a-listers to this production that the real worry seems to be whether that many cooks can help but spoil the broth. But, again, these images look good. It looks like they’re pushing down into the psychological darkness of Suzanne Collins novel, rather than just surfing across the love story. They’re hoping for Twilight‘s box office receipts, but not committed to its adolescent superficiality. (Did I just say that out loud? Sorry.) That’s excellent news.