Thoughts on The Hunger Games

In my first post, I wondered how a PG-13 adaptation of such a violent book could be feasible. After seeing the film, I have to say that director Gary Ross and co. did an admirable job of maintaining the grave tone of the book by not flinching away from the harsh world that Katniss lives in. The film uses shaky-cam filming and mostly off-screen deaths for scenes of slaughter, which is really the only way to portray this level of violence and keep a PG-13 rating for the young fans. Such scenes retain their serious tone by briefly focusing on specific images that speak volumes: a knife dripping with blood, the lifeless body of a fallen tribute, and so on.

Overall, I was impressed by the degree to which the film remained faithful to the book (but I suppose having author Suzanne Collins write the screenplay helps). The acting was solid across the board, particularly Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. Visually, the film is stunning, especially in the scenes in the Capitol, where garish is considered chic.

As is the case in the book, the plot of the film is overwhelmingly bleak. I am quite interested in how the following film installments will handle the storyline as more and more terrible events unfold.

As a sidenote: I was wondering why the actor who plays gamemaker Seneca Crane looked so familiar. Turns out he’s Wes Bentley, who played the troubled young Ricky Fitts in American Beauty! I never knew!

-Alyssa

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About I've seen that movie, too

I'm just a girl who loves talking about music and movies. And music in movies.
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4 Responses to Thoughts on The Hunger Games

  1. As much as I agree that the director and writers were able to pull off the demonstrating the violence without beng too graphic for a young audience, I don’t agree with the PG-13 rating. The concept of a dystopia and the fact that these are “games” where children are killing children deserve for it to have a higher rating of R. I come from Canada, and depending of the province you are in, there’s a 13 or 14 and over rating, which is what the US should have, and what “The Hunger Games” should be rated. It’s like there’s a big hole between PG-13 and R and many films don’t fit in either or…

  2. I completely agree that there’s a huge gap between PG-13 and R-rated films that many movies simply don’t fit into. There are some PG-13 movies that completely terrified me at a younger age due to startling amounts of gore and disturbing imagery. Conversely, I know of many movies that got an R rating that I wouldn’t object to showing to 13-year-olds.

    I suppose I should say that, in regards to The Hunger Games, the filmmakers did the best they could while working under the constraints of a flawed and highly arbitrary rating system.

    • I agree with the flaws of the MPAA, and even my own country’s rating system at times. The fact that a documentary like “Bully” gets an R rating is ridiculous! Luckily, children in Canada will be able to see it because it got a G rating 🙂

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