Pagan News and Views Since 1998

The Hunger Games: This is what I thought of it

I was poking around on my Facebook today and I saw that one of my favorite authors posted a new status update: it turns out that VH1 approached her to write a review for the new movie The Hunger Games. But apparently she technically wrote 2- one she submitted to VH1 but the other she didn't due to it's not-so-thrilled-about-all-of-this nature. I'll post the link to that review so you guys can read it, and then I'll give ya my 2 cents on it.

http://maggiesteifvater.blogspot.com/2012/03/in-which-maggie-review...

So here's my deal with the Hunger Games. BEFORE I GET INTO THIS if you haven't read the book, or haven't seen the movie, and you don't want me to ruin any story points, stop reading now lol

Ok so I read the book, and I liked it, but I never really got all excited about it. The story was awesome in the fact that it bothered me. There were a couple of times while I was reading the book I actually had to put it down it bothered me so much. But I think that's what it was supposed to do. It's a cautionary dystopian story, first and foremost. A lot of people make it out to be this romantic adventure and I guess it is (but I didn't really agree with that being the major emphasis point of the book) but like I said, it's a cautionary tale of the decline and degeneration of society and how it's easy for a society to change into something terrible.

For those who don't know, the story follows this girl named Katniss Everdeen. The story is set in the future. What we know as North America doesn't exist anymore. Due to some kind of fallout, North America has been broken up into 13 "districts" and the ruling body of government is in "The Capitol". Before the story even beings, District 13 has rebelled against the Capitol's tyrranical control. Because of their insolence, the Capitol destroyed District 13, and to punish the other Districts, the Capitol demands that one boy and one girl will be chosen from each district to be taken to the capitol and be thrown into the Hunger Games, which is a fight to the death on live television. The story picks up just in time for the 74th Hunger Games and Katniss's younger sister gets chosen. To spare her sister's life, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. Then the story takes off.

So I thought it was a great warning story- it reminded me a lot of George Orwell's "1984" and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies." The survival aspects of the book were great, and the fact that it disturbed me so much that I had to put it down, it's a good book. I didn't really agree with a couple things; like the fact that Katniss is obviously crushing on two of the male characters in the book where I personally thought she should be a LITTLE more focused on staying alive. But that's just me.

So I liked the book alright, but it wasn't anything to write home about. And then I saw the movie and it was brilliant. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, and Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman- all were brilliant. And even Jennifer Lawrence's portrayal of Katniss was awesome. :) What I liked most about the movie was how they focused on the serious nature of the politics featured in the movie. From what I've seen in the promotion of the movie I was afraid they were going to make it into something like Twilight. But it was brilliant. But ultimately, the story was still something that bothered me, and this is where my views tie in with Maggie Stiefvater's views. And I was really suprised by how some people were also cheering for kids dying. I know we are all supposed to root for the main character's survival, but what if the main character had been one of the nameless children from another district? Or one of the minor characters? Ultimately the majority of the film is focused on kids killing kids, and the sick degeneration of society. It's a lot like what the Romans did with the gladiators. It's all about bread and circuses. And after I got out of the movie, my friends and I went to dinner and I had to run to the rest room, no big deal. And when I got in there, I was hit with a realization- society really is degenerating. Automatic sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap pumps and toilets were a good sign of that. And then when I got back into the restaurant, I hear someone talking about the movie and saying they wished it would have been more gorey. Really? Kids killing kids- you want to see more of that??? What is wrong with people???

Anyway it's a brilliant story, but it should be seen for what it is. A cautionary tale. Not a chance to see kids murdering one another. I guess these days, America is becoming more and more obsessed with bread and circuses.

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Comment by fantumofthewinds on March 29, 2012 at 6:49pm

[ Ultimately the majority of the film is focused on kids killing kids, and the sick degeneration of society.] is that not so far fetched ? look at all the cruel things that are now happening with young folks . all the bulling and many other things . as you stated [I hear someone talking about the movie and saying they wished it would have been more gorey.] perhaps a reflection of that which could come . thanks I have not seen this yet only clips.

Comment by The Daily Spell on March 30, 2012 at 9:36am

I loved the movie depth and it did leave me disturbed. As for the fact this is a cautionary tale, it is not. It is a allegory for our times, and how close we are. We have Hunger Games in our cities, and it is called the news. Everyday we hear about kids killing kids. There is just not a organized way to reward the victor except through drugs, money, and street cred.

Comment by A. Llewellyn on March 31, 2012 at 1:22am

I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie but couldn't find a good used copy - they'd all been bought out, of course! So I saw the movie. I wasn't sure if I was going to, but I saw Jennifer Lawrence was in it (I know her from X-Men and, well, I adore her) and figured I would go because she's pretty good.

I can't believe people would want it more gory - wasn't the tracker jacker scene enough? Or the blood bath at the cornucopia? I wouldn't want to see more - I have a little bro that's three and it's made it hard for me to watch anything with any child or young adult being injured or killed. Made me sensitive to kids and violence on TV.

I saw on the net somewhere saying that it's totally unrealistic for District 12 to have such horrible conditions and technology when the Capitol has advanced technology, saying that never happens. I was like, 'You clearly have never seen a mine in Africa'. Sadly, a lot of what is in the Hunger Games does exist and play out already, if in a less 'in-your-face-all-the-time' fashion.

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