the Hunger Games

A great film to hit our screen this past week is Hunger Games, a great little adventure flick jam packed with social commentary, political comparisons and a good old fashioned tale of survival and morality and how the two may clash when they meet.
Now, as the film begins you learn that the land has been stricken with a massive famine that send the outreaches, or twelve districts out of the city, into revolt. There actions are defeated and are forgiven on one condition. That each year each district will “donate” one boy and one girl to partake in a battle to the death with each other. A sort of – twenty four people enter, one person leaves – typed vibe. The concept immediately took me back to the 2000 film “Battle Royale” where all the naughty kids were brought to one island and forced to kill each other. The last one standing survives. The difference in concept is that Hunger Games is so heavily based on the importance or the power of reality television whereas Battle Royale was rather chaotic in it’s depiction of trying to regain order to a generation lacking respect and purpose.
So if what is the film trying to say about reality tv and our passion for watching?
First it speaks to capitalism, and how if something is profitable in a capitalistic world then it must not only be done but exploited to the maximum too. This begs the question, if it were not profitable would it be done at all? If a rhino’s horn was worthless would they still be killed? And at what point does morality out way cash?
Second, it speaks to uncontrollable urge to watch even if we know we shouldn’t. It’s driving past a car accident, hoping no one is hurt but still looking at the ordeal to see if you can spot a lifeless body. We have a desire to look, however in this case our desire to look keeps the game in play and in turn twenty three teenagers will die. So at what point is our urge to watch partly responsible for the demise in societal morality?
Third, the film depicts the game as a sport. Testing the might of the poor districts against each other. So if the game is merely a sport what are the cameras? Why is watching each second any more important than just knowing the outcome?
To spite all the thinking one can do throughout the film about the world, politics, desires, animosity, capitalism and dominance, it is still a very cool film to watch. The action is raw and thrilling. The emotions are baser yet profound. The world in which the story takes place is amazing, like a circus, with wild colours and outlandish costumes. Packed with great performances from Jenniferr Lawrence as Katnis Everdeen, the strong willed, brave and level headed heroin of the story. Backing her up is her mentors Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Effie (in Elizabeth Banks most unrecognizable role) and Cinna (Lenny Kravitz).
The love story was a total yawn festival, and the ending was completely ridiculous. I mean the idea of making all this commentary about capitalism and then leaving the ending so open ended, begging for a sequel… The whole thing just reeks of capitalism. But for now, enjoy the fun futurist adventure flick Hunger Games before it becomes a sappy teen romance wank, and even hearing the name Hunger Games sends your stomach into a fit.

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