Hunger Games review 2 thumbs up
Disappointment is probably the best way to describe my impressions of the latest movie craze “Hunger Games” Previews for the movie left convoluted opinions and expectations. The movie brought thoughts of another movie dealing with a social acceptance of human sacrifice for the betterment of the society. Some reader may well remember the movie Soylent Green (1973) which depicted human carnage.
In this movie, protesting humans are collected and turned into a cracker like food and distributed as a supplement to feed mankind. In like manor twelve districts of society are required to provide a male and female between 12 and 18 years of age to serve as tributes to participate in the hunger games. The “Hunger” may be an oxymoron from the hunger felt by the poor then forced to watch as their children are killed by other children; or the hunger for carnage by the well to do society who thrive off the labors of lesser people. Then the poor are forced to select children of the individual districts to die in a make shift forest arena as the propagators of the event watch with exuberating joy and bet on the participants outcome.
The main character is Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) who volunteers when the lottery falls on her younger less agile sister. Katniss is depicted as a caring nurturing individual who, although a valiant hunter, opposes taking human life. Her sole hopes were to protect her sister, provide food for her family and stay out of view to the world in which they live. However when forced to stand for her sister, Katniss accepts the challenge despite her inner feelings of fear and disconcertment. Lawrence does an outstanding job and plays the part exquisitely, but even with her abilities, the movie leaves many areas unanswered.
Donald Sutherland plays his part to the hilt, as President Snow, a pure business politician bent on maintaining order and imposing fear and control in citizens, and mentor to Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) as the new Game controller. Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) is the mentor for district twelve’s tributes. In past years he has watched as his tributes died, never returning to their home. Turning to alcohol as a cushion to protect himself and form a distance from this year’s new selectees, he is suddenly excited at the prospect that this year his tributes might have a chance at winning.
But the underlying horror of pitting children against children in a life and death struggle; crosses the line and ask movie goers to enter into a new mindset of acceptance. The endearing moments when we are asked to watch as an innocent child’s life is lost to cold hearted brutality, is designed to pull on our heartstrings and make us identify with individuals in the story line. But I found this movie to be lacking in disclosure of important elements that might have possibly brought clarity to the movie. The book may have offered a better understanding of the story plot, but I don’t think it could ever remove the mental resistance to watching as children die at the hands of other children under a society of condoning adults.
I give it two thumbs up purely on the acting abilities of the children and Woody Harrelson, but would not pay to see this movie again.