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Hunger Games, The (2012)
Friday, March 23, 2012
For intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Wes Bentley, Elizabeth Banks
Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games.
Hunger Games, The (2012) | Review
Entertained by the Suffering of Others
While The Hunger Games books, written by Suzanne Collins, are placed in the genre of Teen Fantasy, the subject matter of this movie is hardly adolescent. The country of Panem is a dark place filled with oppressed people ruled by an unforgiving monarchy. The phrases "Happy Hunger Games" and "May the odds be ever in your favor" are repeated to the point of absurdity by a representative from the Capitol to District 12, Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), and Panem President Snow (Donald Sutherland), which displays their twisted view of this event. It is as if they are saying "Happy execution" and "Good luck trying not to die." A haunting scene in the film occurs just after Katniss and Peeta have said goodbye to their families and get in car with Effie who is jabbering about how splendid the two of them will be treated in the Capitol, as if she is just ignoring the fact that in a matter of weeks both of these children will likely be dead.
The popularity of the Hunger Games amongst the people of the Capitol is comparable to the excitement for the Super Bowl in the U.S. today. The tributes from each district are paraded through the Capitol and individually interviewed by the flamboyant and animated Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci). This, as well as the games themselves, are televised for all the citizens of Panem to view. A heartbreaking reality is that the people of each District are watching to see if one of their children will come home while the people of the Capitol watch for entertainment, since children of the Capitol do not participate in the games. Another great and subtle scene features Katniss and Peeta's mentor, Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), in a common area where he sees a father give his son a plastic sword who proceeds to "stab" his little sister. This image of mocking what Katniss and the other tributes are going through is too much for Haymitch to bear, knowing that these privileged children of the Capitol will never have to worry about being selected for the games.
Copyright © 2012 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
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