The Hunger Games

March 26, 2012 No Comments

The  Hunger Games opened this weekend, earning $155 million dollars, making it the third most successful opening of all time (lagging behind Harry Potter and The Dark Knight).  In case you have been hermetically sealed in a vault somewhere in a galaxy far far away, the film is based upon Suzanne Collins’ blockbuster trilogy of the same name.  It is the story of adolescent heroine Katness Everdeen (played with pluck and sincerity by Winter’s Bone actress Jennifer Lawrence) who has been selected by her district (12) to participate in the Hunger Games along with twenty three other unfortunate “tributes” to fight (on nationwide television) to the death.  It seems that the current ruling class (who continue to live in luxury) demands such games as “payback” for a prior uprising by the still downtrodden masses.  Is this a story of class warfare and social inequity?  Is this an exposure of the tragedy of sending our young to fight our wars? Is it a sendup of the emotional  torture of high school warfare?  It might have  been, but that would be, I think, beside the point of this film.  It would be too jaded to assume that the movie is merely  a lesson in how to track a winning formula–from book (where 24 million copies were sold in the US) to film (recall the $155 million).  This film speaks to its audience….young and pre adolescents…and they are listening.  The PG 13 rating demands a dampening down of the violence (and it is still quite violent, especially for young pre-teens)…adults are foppish or evil and self-serving…with the exception of an occasional but well placed grownup (Woody Harrelson and Andy Kravitz) ready to come to the rescue (this is not, after all, Lord of the Flies, and kids still need adults to survive in this film)

Is this a great film?  No.  Is it a phenomenon that deserves our attention and discussion?  Absolutely…A Must See Film…..unless you prefer the sealed vault…..may the force be with you……Jolyn Wagner

Must See Movie of the Week

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