*Review* “Hunger Games”: Bra-Vo.
I had never heard of “Katniss Everdeen” before the pop culture marketing machine cranked up for Hunger Games. Another young adult genre of best-selling book-turned-blockbuster-film was set for a spring release, but after skipping the Harry Potter craze (never seen a second of those Wizards- missmewiththat), and bored to tears by Bella & Jacob (UGH), I was honestly intrigued by HG previews. So, last Friday afternoon during an IMAX matinee, I treated myself to what everyone would surely be talking about all month long. GLAD I did.
The film is set in a post-apocalyptic North America years into the future. How refreshing to depart from the typical angst-filled high school, or mythical land settings of young adult dramas and present a more relatable storyline. Several districts are devastated after loosing a National rebellion against a hyper-capitalist government ignoring the needs of the majority of the people. Severe poverty coupled with with the psychological pressures of possible subjection to the violently fatal “Hunger Games,” where only 1 out of 24 is crowned champion, is the way of young district life. Katniss, a highly-skilled hunter by circumstance, volunteers as Tribute when her younger sister is selected, solidifying the driving motivation to survive the game and win, love of family.
Action-filled and suspenseful, the film centers on Katniss’ transition from strong, largely silent protector to a glam, audience-favored and entertaining warrior fighting for life in front of millions. Solid acting performances were given all around from veterans like Woody Harrelson, and fresh young actors alike. Particularly loved Lenny Kravitz’s gold eye liner, lashes, and sexy attire (yum), pleased to learn he worked directly with wardrobe to tone-down his character’s “flamboyant” look. Viewing a young woman protagonist, strong in mind and body, confident in her abilities and prioritizing romance as an afterthought to survival was refreshing. Bra-vo.
Many socio-political inferences can be made from the film due to the ambiguity of the war origin, years of oppression, simply a lack of information about the cultural divide. Parallels of fictional class and economic tensions in the film to current events in reality like frustrations with the government and a failing economy resonated with me without prior knowledge of the storyline.
After reading mixed reviews that the film strayed from the authenticity of the film, and racist backlash on fanboards online “upset” that Rue and Senna’s characters were cast as Black actors *Fingers To Temple* I ordered the novels to compare. How anyone could question or “hate” on the race of a fictional character in a position of oppression… speaks volumes. Ignorant racists are everywhere.
Be sure to check out the film in theatres and IMAX everywhere, and let me know your thoughts. Are you a fan of Hunger Games??