Every so often a film comes out that speaks to so many people on so many levels that it becomes an instant sensation. Without a doubt Hunger Games is that kind of film. Not a second goes by during the entire two plus hours of the film that the audience is not on the edge of their seat desperate for more. If you loved our coverage of the film’s premiere but still haven’t seen it, check out this review!
The film is based on a series of young adult novels with the same name that drew a cult following among its readers. The film, like the book, tells the story of Katniss a young girl selected as a tribute to compete in the annual Hunger Games. The games were created by the powerful ruling class in The Capitol to quell the rebellion of the poorer citizens in the outlying districts. Every year a teenage boy and girl are chosen as tributes and must fight to the death in a televised competition with 22 other teenagers. The games are televised for the entire country while the ruling class make bets on who will win. Since only one can remain each year, the games are known for their violence and brutality, something encouraged by the viewing audience.
When it was first announced that The Hunger Games was being made into a movie there were a lot of Twilight references, those have since been stopped in their tracks. Twilight tells the story of a young girl in what could be considered an abusive relationship, which she enjoys. She is portrayed as weak and cannot live without the men in her life. The Hunger Games takes an entirely different approach, giving young girls a strong and independent female role model in the main character Katniss.
Beyond the story itself, the movie is a step above just about everything out right now in every aspect. The costume design alone should win an Academy Award next year showing the audience a futuristic post-punk world that would make any anime proud. The actors shine as well, casting director Debra Zane did a masterful job finding the ideal actors for each role. Jennifer Lawrence does an amazing job as Katniss but her performance is only amplified by the support of big names like Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks to bring the film into a whole new realm.
At first glance The Hunger Games is a metaphor for high school. Young children picked out of society to perform for the older, ruling class. But at its heart it is about so much more than that. The Hunger Games pulls influences from all throughout history and even the present day. Many have compared the rebellion of the poorer districts to the Occupy protestors of today. The role of reality television is front and center as well making the story rife with ethical dilemmas. The very best movies should make you think and change the way you see the world. The Hunger Games accomplishes that on multiple levels ensuring its place in cinematic history. It is a game changer in the rules of young adult cinema today.
If you missed it, check out our coverage from the premiere here.