Friday, March 23, 2012
The Hunger Games: A Movie Review
Now in this review, I have some very strong opinions about what I saw in this film. I plan on going about this review in two ways. One as a film, and two a personal opinion.
So the Hunger Games in short is a movie about 24 young men and women ages 12-18 that must participate in an arena style competition to the death as punishment for an uprising
that took place by the 12 districts of Panem, against the ruling government of the Capitol. The story has a very unique and interesting premise. Having read the book before
seeing the movie, I went in with alot of expectation as far as sticking close to the story goes, but not so much as i wouldn't call myself a raving fan of the series.
The Katniss character in the movie played by Jennifer Lawerence was very well done. I am a fan of the average beauty of a woman, who when made up becomes strikingly gorgeous. She
shows strength, and beauty which is to be applauded especially for a young actress. The character of Peeta Mellark wasn't as engaging and interesting as I thought he would be.
He was a perfect back up character, but I feel didn't really do much to complement Katniss in the movie as much as he did in the book. I found that as a character at least in
the movie, I didn't really care about him. The brutality of the Hunger Games were shown very prominently in the film. The struggle and fight for survival, along with the dreams
of the main characters played a role, but again were down played and overshadowed by the glory of the games, and I think that was a mistake. The only time in the movie where
those sentiments were expressed was during a conversation in the film with Katniss and Peeta. After that it seemed to be all about the fighting and killing. I feel that there
was so much more that could have been played up more in the film, and in fact extended visually in movie format that would be hard to express in the books. The meaning of the
games to everyone in the districts were a non-issue, it just seemed like they all hoped they didn't get picked. The reaction to the games from the general populace should have
been something that could hae been expanded on, but it was not. This is where the book shined in my opinion.
The movie as a whole I feel was rushed and happened very fast in regard to the story and pacing. A lot of details that helped round out the characters were deleted, and I think didn't help to develop a quality story. Honestly as I watched, I began to really feel that this was simply a movie that was put out to replace the hype of Twilight which will thankfully burn out in
the next few months. The casting and script was really good, and was probably my favorite aspects of the film. Lenny Kravitz as Cinna was awesome, Stanley Tucci as Caesar
Flickerman, Woody Harelson as Haymitch, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, and even Donald Sutherland as the evil President Snow were all great and put on amazing performances. However, the look and feel of the film in my opinion were very lack luster. Capitol was a HUGE disappointment to me. The city looked sterile while it's inhabitants looked like left over extras from the Fifth Element. When reading the book, and the description it gave, I envisioned very vibrant colors, flamboyant designs from the clothing, to the people, to the architecture. The environment and the people in it did not complement each other, and was not cohesive at all. Being an artist, it was not appealing, and I felt that the designers of the movie were very lazy in this aspect.
As a movie, and simply considering the craft itself and what it presents itself to be, I give this movie a 7/10.
Now this second part is purely personal opinion and convictions, and if you do not wish to continue reading here, then that is alright. I appreciate you at least taking a look at my initial review.
The Hunger Games is a story that should have stayed just that... a story. I remember a time when it was taboo to show a child being murdered on television, or in a movie. And if it did show that, it received and immediate 'R' rating. I think it's amazing how we as humans interpret things in our minds when we read a story; allowing our minds to conjure up images in our imaginations as to how something or someone looks, or how action plays out. I have to say that though as a movie, it was pretty good, from a moral standpoint it was outright disturbing, and inappropriate. What saddens me even more, is that this stuff is going be eaten up by the public and media; thus showing the advancing love of violence no matter where it comes from, and the sad state the world is in now, because we have become so callused to violence. My mind didn't even come close to projecting the gruesome, and violent images that were being performed by those that either were, or pretended to be children in this film. They acted sadistic, savage, uncontrolled; and to me, for children to act like this is unacceptable no matter what time period, no matter what circumstance.
Children are SUPPOSED to be a reflection of fun and innocence that is forgotten in our adult lives. They are the people we look to, to remind us of what innocence, and curiosity is in the times we live in. They are the balance in our lives when we take life and ourselves too seriously. And when children are being portrayed in a way that is not only overly mature, and perform acts like killing other children, I personally feel that this crosses a line, and is completely unacceptable. I am not in anyway slamming the original author of this book. I understand that it is a fictional story, and a different time period, and even more, that IT'S NOT REAL. But what I am upset about is the fact that the entertainment industry didn't pause and take a look how a movies like this would portray children to be. That is NOT okay... Remember how controversial Lord of the Flies was as a story? And remember how even more controversial it was when it was put to film? Well now with Hunger Games, the Lord of the Flies is now like Spongebob Squarepants in comparison.
I do not like, nor will I ever condone, or try to make acceptable the portrayal of children as violent, brutal, sadistic murderers. And because this is what the entertainment industry has done, I have become very sad and now truly realize the lengths these people will go to make a dollar. And before anyone reading this post decides to try and be snarky or funny, and say "They are teenagers, not children" go ask your local police officer how old you need to be to drink, or get married. Just because it is done, doesn't mean that is HAS to be or that it's acceptable.
So based on all the aforementioned here, I will have to give this movie of 2/10...