According to Boxofficemojo “Hunger Games” has made $312 million as of yesterday (4/11/12). Last week a group of us went to see it. Here are my thoughts… I’d love to know yours.
Everyone asks, “did you like it?” : Not really, but the movie does have a few well done themes that are worth talking about. It’s always hard for a movie with a lot of hype to live up to expectations but I honestly really didn’t have any. I haven’t read the books and didn’t know anything about the plot or actors. I was going because I wanted to be on the “in” when others were talking about it and my main reason to go was to hangout. I thought the plot was thin, the short history about the how and why of the “Games” left more questions then it provided answers. The overall plot was predictable and a few outcomes left me going “give me a break” (best examples are when Everdeen is pinned down by the girl with knife to her throat and the times when the rules of the game changed – especially the second time). An obvious high point of the movie was where Katniss took the place of her sister.
There were two deeper themes that really are worth talking about . The first, is the issue of violence and how we, like the viewers of the “Games”, have become desensitized to violence. In the scenes where Caesar Flickerman (who is the chief commentator and host the interviews), has the competitors in front of the audience. They do a great job of making it seem like, rather than kids about to kill each other, they are Olympic athletes getting ready to run in a race and there are medals to be won – not lives about to taken. It’s not unlike the Roman Gladiator days, and not a far step (as others have pointed out) from the reason many are drawn to watching MMA. At least we should see the correlation of how we have become obsessed with an kind of unhealthy voyeurism. We are consumed with “watching others”. Don’t believe me? Why do they sell tabloid magazines at check-out stands? Why in that last several years have we been bombarded with a litany of “Reality” based TV shows? We love gawking at other, their good moments and especially – their worst. We begin to see people as spectacles and not as God’s precious creation. The second, is the outside and unseen influence others have on the participants of the “games”. Some people (called sponsors) send timely gifts to the competitors. Others are game coordinators, that limit and shape the environment that the competitors experience. They use fire and the creation of the fierce animals, all to effect the choices the competitors make. The competitors have some sense of this but are never really fully awre of the full extent of this outside influence. I think it’s just like the world we live in. There is a spiritual realm that we are vaguely aware of but really have no idea just how much those outside influences shape our lives. The Bible gives us glimpse of this “unseen” reality.
I do have say that I appreciate that for the most part they refrained from showing some moments of gore and guts that would have been easy to play up. Props to them for showing restraint.
Best part of the movie? OK – although not technically not on the screen, when the wild animal lunges out, one of the people at movie with us (a muscle man, training to be a firefighter) who will remain nameless, screamed and jumped like a 3 year-old girl. When he screamed… I mean at the top his lounges – it scared those of us around him 50 times more than what the movie actually did. Classic.
What did you think? (I must be getting old, most of those I went with, all of whom but one are younger than me, seemed to like it)