Review Of The Movie The Hunger Games

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The portrayal of a grim and disturbing future is usually the main goal of many dystopian fiction stories and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins is certainly no different. The intense and almost uncomprehendable plot is what draws the audience in to watch this parable for the present. The inspiration for “The Hunger Games” came after Collins was flipping the channels on her television between a reality-TV show to footage of the horrific war in Iraq.

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After the nation of North America is destroyed by a catastrophe, a futuristic and highly advanced civilization by the name of Panem rises from the ashes. It is ruled by a corrupt, wealthy Capitol and surrounded by 12 “districts” in which the lowest people of society live in what are basically unhabitable conditions. The capitol, as a reminder of their complete totalitarian control over the citizens, holds an annual event in which one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts is selected through a lottery to participate in the battle royale style deathmatch. Now in its 74th edition, the televised tableau of intense gore, that all the citizens are forced to watch, shows a vision of the 24 helpless teenagers mercilessly killing each off until one lone victor remains.

Despite the dark depressing nature of The Hunger Games, the two protagonists; Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lwarence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) rise above their power hungry capitol and give hope to the people living in what could be considered “hell on earth. ” Depicting the the incessant violence that is present in the book so that it is neither cynically glamorised nor too graphic to hinder parents from allowing their teenaged children to buy a ticket, was clearly the biggest challenge that faced Gary Ross. Yet somehow the Seabiscuit director managed to achieve just that by smartly using shaky camera movements and quick close up shots of the violent murder scenes. Pools of blood, expressionless faces, and bodies turning limp all efficaciously bring to light the true horrors of what just took place leaving the audience with a sense of empathy and insight. Like the fast paced novel, the film, even with a duration of over two and a half hours, moves rapidly between scenes, constantly drawing in the audience.

Being a dystopian fiction narrative, The Hunger Games naturally has a lot in common with George Orwells 1984, and the two main characters, Katniss and Peeta are very similar to the two protagonists in 1984. In both films the malicious governments feed their citizens fake propaganda to ensure that their people remain in an anxious and easily controllable state. Mr Snow, the president of Panem, makes false claims to get the citizens on his side, he used live streaming, interviews, fashion and drama, much like a modern day reality TV show to conceal the crude reality of what The Hunger Games truly was. The examples I have stated above were exectued by the directors and writers to maximise the dystopian narratives effectiveness of showing the audience how bad a future society could look like if government corruption and political unrest isnt rectified soon.

15 July 2020

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