Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games: "The Film On Fire" During Its Opening Weekend

In The Hunger Games, people are obsessed with a televised event where teens are forced to fight for their lives and murder each other.  In the movie, nothing is sugar-coated.  In real life, people are obsessed with a movie about teens who are forced to fight for their lives and murder each other.  On top of that, there are many political and social issues that are blatantly pointed out.  No sugar-coating.  On top of THAT, there was hardly any subliminal advertising on water bottles, or fast food bags, because most major companies did not feel comfortable advertising with a movie that contained a brutal killing field.  Yet, we're all still obsessed with this movie. Basically, out of our own free will.  In its opening weekend, it is reported to be making $150 million dollars. 

I finally watched The Hunger Games last night.  I will admit that I tried to see it for the prior two nights but the tickets were completely sold out (all showings). There were police there, people wearing The Hunger Games t-shirts, everyone had purchased their tickets six months ago, etc.  I went into the movie without reading any of the books (so if you haven't read the books, you can still get hooked by watching the movie first.) 

First of all, I don't know what it is, but there is something about watching/reading a teen struggle through life with the weight of the world on her shoulders that can remind us all of our youth. Or, maybe it's just fascinating to see such a youthful existence handle the weight of the world better than most jaded adults could. Jennifer Lawrence plays the tough/not-so-good-with-people "girl on fire", Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers into the dreaded Hunger Games to replace her young sister.  The Hunger Games take place once a year in a fictional futuristic world, where a male and a female from each district are offered (i.e. the names are randomly chosen) as sacrifice into a televised event, where they will fight to their death.  Only one winner will make it out alive.

The Hunger Games is an odd movie in nature because even though it is set to be one of the most popular teen films of our generation (move over, Twilight), it is also, one of the most edgy films.  Behind all of the hype, it is a movie about teens killing teens.  At one point, a young girl is brutally killed.  Yet, it is a glamorized event; all of the contestants must go on a talk show, win audience approval and gain sponsors, and look their best.  The fact that they are going to die is sort of overlooked by the public, even though it's always "the elephant in the room." This sets up a great discussion of how our own society overlooks a lot of gruesome events happening in our country and throughout the world and focuses in on glamorized events like awards shows or red carpet events.  

If you haven't seen The Hunger Games, you should.  There is a little bit of something in it for everyone.  And...may the odds be ev-ah in your fav-ah.  


Photo Credits: Lionsgate

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