CAUTION- CONTAINS MILD PLOT SPOILERS!
Last night I “stayed out late” on a school night and went to see ‘The Hunger Games’ at the cinema. I’m becoming quite picky about what I go and see at the cinema (mainly due to the cost of a ticket) but so far it’s paying off, I come out have genuinely enjoyed the films I’ve seen!
(Unfortunately I can’t embed the trailer- but you can watch it here!)
This was no exception, even at the moments where you felt you could predict where the story was going, it still kept your interest. If you’re of a reading persuasion, you left tempted to open up your Amazon app and buy the books, and certainly looking forward to the next instalment. I liked that it spent time looking at the build up the event itself, and how they dealt with the issues involved quite realistically.
Of course, the historian/geek in me can’t help but be intrigued when films such as this, or the Matrix, Equilibrium, even Harry Potter draw parallels between the alternative universe they’ve created and aspects of our history. The author, Suzanne Collins, seems to have done this very well, as has the director who brought it to life.
Firstly there is the apparently charming but ruthless dictator in ‘the President’. Donald Sutherland is a marvellous actor, and he portrayed this superbly. He is respected and revered within ‘the Capital’, but behind the scenes you are subtly shown an almost omnipotent tyrant using the Hunger Games as a method of totalitarian control. Then there are the elite- those living in ‘the Capital’ who are blissfully ignorant of the plight of the twelve districts. Those within the districts live in near poverty, risk their ‘freedom’ in an effort to survive, ruthlessly repressed by the state whilst the ongoing facade of it being for their benefit never slips.
The post-apocalyptic world struck me as an interesting image of what a world might look like post-nuclear. The move from one of ‘the districts’ to ‘the Capital’ felt as big a cinematic change as when Ivy Walker makes it through the woods of “The Village” and blindly steps onto the road and into the 20th century. I’ve said before- the best stories are actually true, so using these ideas to form the world of “The Hunger Games” works well.
There has of course been controversy as to whether it should be a 12A or a 15. Now the changing face of film certificates could be the subject of a whole other post (especially as the BBFC celebrates it’s 100th birthday!), but ultimately I feel it should be a 15. Call me old-fashioned, but the topics dealt with aren’t suitable for younger audiences, and 12A is a pathetic money-making excuse that opens up major cans of worms regarding cinema audiences, and some poor parenting decisions to boot (easy now, save it for another post- or better yet hold your tongue before you say something too controversial!)
Anyway- moment of the film for me? When the President looked at the screen inside the control room at the very end- that little flick of his lip was so small, yet said so much- this isn’t the end, but just the beginning! Film of the year so far? Definitely- just a shame it won’t keep that title, because very soon, the Dark Knight will rise.