A Review of the "Hunger Games"
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:04
Based on the first book of the same name by Suzanne Collins, “The Hunger Games” is a movie that starts out with a text explanation of what The Hunger Games are and what started them. Based on the text we gather that “The capitol” is the part of the country that houses the government and all of the rich parts of society.
The districts are the communities of the less privileged groups of people who do all the work and labor for the capitol and get none of the benefits.
Apparently, some time before the movie takes place there was a failed revolution against the capitol and as punishment the districts each have to offer up 2 tributes-one male and one female-each year. These tributes are forced to fight against one another in events called The Hunger Games.
The movie introduces us to Katniss and her sister Primrose and explains that the tributes are selected for The Hunger Games in an event known as the reaping, where their names are drawn and the contestants are selected to perform in these games.
The movie takes a while to get to the reaping ceremony. First we are treated to some backstory on how Katniss can hunt, although we never see her do it successfully in the intro.
We are also introduced to a possible love interest named Gale, who goes on to do little to nothing for most of this movie.
At the reaping ceremony, Katniss’s sister is called up to be the tribute but Katniss volunteers. The other character from the district who gets summoned is named Peeta.
After a train ride to the capitol and a scene in which the tributes are introduced to their mentor, the movie seems to switch gears from being a commentary on the government and power to a scathing commentary on reality TV.
Before the games are to begin, the tributes have to go on a talk show and try to get the audience to like them so that they can get sponsors to pay for things that will help them survive once the games begin. Peeta even makes up a romance between him and Katniss on the spot to try to gain some instant support.
The people treat all of these kids’ like they’re fictional characters in a game. They don’t seem to care that these people are going to die; they are laughing and enjoying every moment of it.
When The Hunger Games begin the movie becomes absolutely brutal, especially for a movie rated PG-13. Several of the participants are killed almost immediately and even though no one is actually shown dying, the characters that kill them pick up their weapons and they are covered in blood.
The movie really starts to pick up at this point and becomes more enjoyable. The first half of the movie, although necessary for its backstory, is incredibly slow and boring.
The movie does introduce one of its major problems during this half of the movie though, the shaky cam. To keep this movie PG-13, all of the deaths are kept off-screen by shaking the camera wildly.
But it’s not just the death scenes this happens in, when characters are running away from or towards things the movie goes first person and the camera can’t seem to stay still. I do not recommend seeing this movie in the front row, especially if you get motion sickness.
I’ll try to keep this part of the movie relatively spoiler free. When characters are killed off, the movie starts showing the reality TV themes again.
People who just killed another person act as if it was nothing and even laugh about doing it. Katniss seems to be honestly the only character besides Peeta and another tribute name Rue who have any regard for human life.
During important set pieces the movie shows behind-the-scenes events that show that these games are actually scripted and seems like the character have very little control over if they will win or lose.
The movie doesn’t really give us any sense of loss when a character dies and they have very little development throughout the movie. We just see them gone in nearly an instant so the impact of their death is seeing the death itself not the loss of a character.
I will not spoil the ending but to me it felt like a copout. This movie has been so grim so far but the semi bitter sweet happy ending seems a bit forced to me. I haven’t really heard too many complaints from other people about it but I just felt it went against the tone of most of the movie.
So, overall, the first half of the movie is a bit dull and boring, but the second half is really worth the price of admission, other than the ending and the numbness towards death in the movie the story is really good and keeps you gripped for the most part.
I recommend the movie for the second half alone but I do not recommend bringing any young children. I’d give the movie 7.5 points on a scale of 1-10.
It’s got its faults but it has an interesting enough story to keep you entertained. Not everyone was of the same opinion. Parkland student Brittany Nelson said, “I had just got done reading the book before seeing the movie. The movie just didn’t live up to my expectation from reading the book.”