Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games is Awesome. Not Horrifying. End of Discussion.

Yesterday was the day I've been looking forward to for the past four months, ticking off the remaining days from 126 until I finally reached 1.
I got my braces off.
Back on subject now. The 74th annual Hunger Games have begun.
At 7:30 I put on my Effie Trinket costume-pink wig, red heels, random pieces of jewelry, a spring green 1990-something bridesmaid dress salvaged from the back of my mom's closet. I wore that through the premiere party, which basically consisted off me getting weird looks from various people, congragulatory smiles from other various people, answering Hunger Games trivia, throwing darts at a poster of President Snow, and finally watching the movie. This all came to an end at 3:30 in the morning.
I planned on taking a nap after school today. Then I came home and saw a newspaper lying on the floor with this picture in the top right corner.

I turned to the appropriate page and found an article entitled "Children and Violence: Dark, Thorny Themes Make 'The Hunger Games' A Case Study for Complex Issue". And below that, another article called "'The Hunger Games' is not carefree entertainment". Six pages in, "'Hunger Games' isn't appropriate for young children".
Being me, I read them all. The first one featured some guy with a fancy Ph. D. spewing out all these dangerous sounding statistics about violence and children. Other than that, all three were virtually identical. A brief summary of the novel for you slackers that haven't read it yet, a lot of chatter about violence and how the film really portrays bloodshed as a bad thing, and the resolution that it's a great movie, but parents should think twice before allowing their young children to go.
Duh. Obviously people shouldn't be draggging their seven year olds into the theater. They aren't mature enough to fully comprehend the entrancing themes of poverty, oppression, uprising, and bittersweet sacrifice that make Suzanne Collins' work a masterpiece.

Need I say this scene is amazing? Sometimes it pays to change the story.
Does this picture mean nothing to you? Then read the dang book.
Sure, there's violence. But you can barely see any of the action because the stupid camera is moving so fast you can't tell who's on top of who. And what you can see they dumbed down. In the book, Marvel is shot in the throat, pulls out the arrow, and drowns in his own blood. In the movie, it's a nice clean chest shot. And Glimmer's corpse was so less grotesque than I imagined.
The only thing that bugged me about the book while I was reading it was what you could call the sensual content. Katniss is one of the lucky few tributes to grab a sleeping bag. The arena's so cold, one girl lights a fire at night even though it sends out a literal smoke signal for others to track her down and kill her. Katniss, being a nice person, shares the sleeping bag with two friends she makes throughout the book. The first is Rue, a sweet twelve year old girl who reminds Katniss of her own sister, Prim.

The second is Peeta. He's seriously injured and it would be just plain selfish to have him sleep on the cold cave floor while he's teetering on the verge of death.

In the movie, Katniss pulls the sleeping bag out of her backpack, looks at it, and then it vanishes forever. Neither she or anybody else sleeps in it. I was a little puzzled when I saw her choosing to sleep on a rough tree limb with only a rope holding her in place. Maybe a wolf ran out and snatched the sleeping bag in its gaping jaws while the camera was pointed elsewhere.
There are a few more swear words than the novel, bringing the movie up to a level somewhere below The Sandlot.
All in all, Hunger Games is a good movie. Take your parents.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the movie. I was a little worried about seeing it, because although the book is good, it is also disturbing. I was afraid that Hollywood might get it wrong, kind of steer away from the social issues and focus more on the thrill of the kill, but no, for once they finally got it right. The book and the movie should really make you think about things like freedom and democracy, and they do.