Initial Review of The Hunger Games Movie

 So I saw the Hunger Games movie on Saturday. No, I didn’t see it on the stroke of midnight with all the die hards. I waited until the crowds died down a little and then went on Saturday, which also happened to be my anniversary.

Anyways, I thought the movie was amazing! It was true there were a few changes in the movie versus the book, but for the most part, they stuck with the book! Hurray!!

It was beautifully done and the film makers didn’t shy away from the more gruesome parts of the book, well not very much anyways. I think the real impact of the book was able to hit for the most part.

I really like how the movie makers went above and beyond what was in the book as far as new technology.

For instance, in the reaping scene they prick each child’s finger and scan the blood. This wasn’t in the book, but it’s an interesting idea. I have actually heard, that ‘supposedly,’ when anyone is born in the United States their blood is taken and stored for identification purposes later. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but plenty of more ‘open minded’ people back the idea up. I think this scene in the movie was a great throwback to at least one modern-day conspiracy theory.

Since I lived in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains while growing up, I really appreciated that the film was for the most part set in the Appalachian mountains. It’s not that often that the mountain chain on the east coast of the United States gets film attention. Of course, the movie had to be filmed somewhere around here because coal mining is pretty much done in the Appalachians.

There were a few key points that were changed in the movie from the book. I don’t want to discuss them now because everyone hasn’t seen the movie yet and I don’t want to give anything away.

The movie did so well in capturing the desperation that I saw in district 12. The desperation of the arena was also caught very well. The grit was there. The grit is what makes this story great.

The disparity between the capital and the rest of the districts was also represented correctly. The capital is a rich place, where no one has any cares other than society functions and their entertainment. The people in the districts are just scraping by. District 12 actually looks more like a coal mining town from the 1930s rather than a town from an ‘advanced’ civilization. Although, arguably, any civilization that would sacrifice children isn’t very advanced in my opinion.

There were a couple of things that bugged me about the movie. One I am not going to talk about yet, because it is towards the end of the movie, and again, I don’t want to give anything away. The other I will mention.

Films can send messages, whether they intend to or not. There have been quite a few articles written on the fact that black male leads, that live, in a movie are rare, unless it’s Will Smith. Will Smith is the only actor who gets an exception apparently. Whether or not this is done on purpose, I can’t say, but it’s a little disturbing if you stop to think about it.

What I find disturbing about the Hunger Games movie is that A) both of the tributes from the Agricultural district were black and B) Lenny Kravitz was the only black guy in the capital. If you saw anyone else, I would be glad to know, but as far as I know, Lenny Kravitz is the only person of color they let in the capital of Panem. You may not think this is a big deal, but I spotted it right away. That might also just be me being overly analytical.

Collins never mentions race in her book. She does mention that a couple of people have olive skin tones or brown hair, but there is no outright, “this character is African-American,” or, “This character is Asian, ” etc.. Collins left room for interpretation and I don’t like how the film makers interpreted it. This may not have been done intentionally, but it was done none the less. So both the characters from district 11, the agricultural district, AKA the district that grows your food, were black. Were the casting directors racist on this movie, or were they trying to make a point? Were they saying that maybe in the future the fragments of our country, left over from who knows what abomination, revert back to the racist days of slavery? Or was the casting director just saying that agriculture is where he/she thought people of color should be? Or was it just a coincidence?

There are plenty of ‘theories’ going around that state that the rich people in the world, who are rich beyond our imagination, and like to pull strings, don’t like anybody who isn’t white, they also ‘supposedly’ don’t like anybody who is poor either. Supposedly, they are also all for eugenics. This is all hear-say, but it makes a person wonder.

I mean why not make some of the other characters black? If it wasn’t mentioned that the character had light skin specifically, why not cast a person who isn’t white? Why couldn’t Effie Trinket have been played by Queen Latifah? I like Queen Latifah by the way, so don’t scoff at my choice.  Why not make President Snow Morgan Freeman?

This whole thing may not bug anyone else. There are other movies I have been a little disappointed in for doing pretty much the same thing. Like Avatar the Last Airbender. The cartoon is great. It’s a wonderful, what I would call, American Anime. The movie isn’t so hot. I don’t think it’s so great because all the people of the Fire Nation(the bad guys), are represented by people of middle-eastern descent. I think that is profiling. I think it’s wrong to do that.

Again, maybe none of it was intentional, maybe they were just the best actors for the part. I am just saying, the directors left some room open for interpretation of their interpretation of the novel.

Even so, the movie was wonderful. You don’t make 120 million dollars over the weekend because your movie sucks. It was amazing. I can’t wait for the next one. Seriously, it’s going to be amazing. The third one, despite what the writers over at Slate say, is going to be amazing as well.

If you haven’t seen this yet, go for it, but seriously, please, don’t take your five-year old. This is NOT a child’s movie. When the rating says ’13’ on this movie, it means 13. Your precious little butterflies can’t handle this until they’re a little older, or if you like to refer to them as a concept I read about recently “indigo children.” Just don’t take your little kids. OK? Promise me.

When you’re watching the movie, remember to think of it as a ‘what if’ and not a ‘it’ll never happen.” Try to imagine yourself in that situation. Imagine what your world would be like. Imagine if you had to offer one of your children up to your government. Try to remember that this movie is not just a movie. It has a deeper meaning. It is supposed to make you think. It is supposed to make you ponder.

About The Author


There's way too much to write in this tiny space, but let's be short about this. Ashe is the creator, maintainer, and writer of One-Elevenbooks and has been since 2011. She likes to make artwork and write novels. She also likes the outside, in general. Ashe has a BA in Fine Arts and a BS in Information Technology.

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