Hunger Games Review… Twilight, Mormonism and Politics


So you’re probably wondering how Hunger Games, Twilight, Mormonism and politics all tie in together.  They really don’t, but in my ADD mind, I will find a way to connect the dots.

My first motivation to see Hunger Games (which came out last night) was to see the 2nd trailer for the new Twilight coming out this fall.  SO DISAPPOINTED!  After seeing the commercial, I almost walked out and forgot about the rest of the movie.  Don’t blink you might miss it.  There’s 14 second clips out there, but I dug a little and found a 49 second one.

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/319012/20120324/twilight-breaking-dawn-trailer-teaser-hunger-games.htm

I was suppose to take my daughter with my parents, but they went and saw it last night.  My overly protective Mormon mother advised against taking my daughter to the rated R film.  From a Mormon’s perspective, she said that there was a lot of killing, but that the main character only killed mostly in self defense and that there wasn’t a lot of gore.

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“It was good for Mormon standards,” she said.  LMFAO!  As I recall growing up as a Mormon, no rated R movies were condoned.  Are Mormon’s lowering their standards today and becoming more liberal?  Shit… I wasn’t allowed to drink Coca Cola.  But ANYWHO… I do think it was teetering on the PG13/R rating.  I understand the R rating because of the killing of course, but there wasn’t anything else but that.  No sex, language, insinuation, or anything else in that category.  I went to the early matinee at Pearlridge to avoid the crowd, and to my surprise it was packed, with children.  I was blessed with a mother in front of me who didn’t change her son’s diaper the entire movie.

I absolutely LOVED this movie!  From the story line and plot, to the fashion and styling.  It was fabulous!  I kept whispering over to my friend, annoying him, to try to predict what was going to happen next.  The movie was 2 1/2 hours long, but at the end, I was surprised… It’s over?  It seemed to go so fast.  I wanted more.  I thought there were 1 or 2 more guys to kill, but perhaps because they didn’t show all the kills, (you only see the kills on a computer screen in the sky when the less important characters are eliminated.) But to my understanding, the story is written from 16 year old Katniss’s perspective.  The showdown scene at the end was disappointing, I thought it was just another unimportant kill.  I enjoyed the entire chase and story that lead up to that point.  It kept me guessing and on my toes.  And when it sunk in that the last person was killed, I wasn’t ready for the movie to end.

The fashion is a must mention in this movie.  The movie begins in District 12, where Katniss Everdeen, (played by Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers in place of her younger sister to be a contestant in the Hunger Games.  The small coal industry town is a poor country town where people are dressed in dull colors and vintage silhouettes, comparable to the 30’s and Amish country fashions.  Katniss wears her hair in braids, appropriately styling this poor country girls personality.

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When you get to the city you see a more flamboyant sense of fashion, where money and wealth is more prominent, where the game becomes entertainment for the upper elite.  The film becomes brightly themed with explosions of gold and peacock and magenta, sequined suits, manic hair styles  and obnoxious facial hairstyles.  It’s like Gucci Fall 2011 palette.  Apart from the energy, the color brings to the movie, the fabulous silhouettes, fabric and texture in the costumes can’t be ignored.

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Designer Judianna Makovsky (Harry Potter, X Men, Devils Advocate) is responsible for costumes in Hunger Games.

btw… she looks so young in this movie, but isn’t she a fox?

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What really was intriguing to me was how I applied many concepts to real life and there seemed to be many political parallels.  Stop me, if I’m going to far off, but I couldn’t help but look at some things like this.  Apparently, they are in a poor society, where food is scarce and the government rules over the people by controlling what they need and using it towards corporate benefit.  Of course, they present the games with a comically over dressed “clown” to present the “show” with a shallow message which was ignored by the crowd: “this is a reminder of patriotism” to justify it all.

When Katniss volunteers to take her sisters place, her and the other contestant from District 12, Peeta are on their way to train.  Their unmotivated trainer, (Woody Harrelson), a drunkard, is your epitome of the soulless “scumbag promoter,” well paid with incentives, but drowned in alcohol to fill the void that his hopelessness exists.  Then there is the annoying publicist who is on your case for every little thing you say on camera prior to the show.  And the stylist, Cinna.  He seems to be the closest to Katniss, but in reality, it’s a shallow world where all the parties involved are just working together to make the vision come together and further their own  careers.  There never is any real deep connection between anyone working with them.  They admit they are willing to throw away Peeta’s training because “only one can win” and they tragically decide to focus solely on Katniss.  Nonetheless, Peeta saves his ass and lack of talent (ability to kill anyone) with his charm and his journalistic story.  The “Star Crossed Lovers.”  Whether he made it up, or it was ever true is murky and unclear.  Perhaps his imagination was his survival skill.  His talent to sway the “sponsors” and win the contest was about the story.  It came down to the idea that it didn’t matter who was the best hunter.  It mattered who got the publicist the best story to pitch.  The idea that he could create a story that the people loved, saved his life.  While the younger girl was a scavenger and hiding, and the other characters strategies were unsure in the movie, the strong hunters came together for an alliance which was bound to last till the others were executed, making it almost impossible for anyone to resist.

When Rue is speared, at her request Katniss sings to her, then spreads flowers over her body as a sign of respect—and of disgust towards the Capitol. I  especially like the twist, (I won’t spoil it) on how Peeta and Katniss, the last two standing, take control over the situation and beat Capitol at their own game.  #poisonberries.

I was extremely critical on strategy.  I’m a thinker, and I always get caught up in the character and start wondering… what would I do in this situation?  First of all, I would have been teamed up with Peeta from the beginning.  You can expect alliances.  She did the right thing by grabbing her back pack, but Peeta was a pussy and ran away. I think if the two watched each other’s back from the beginning, they would have had a better chance with less injury.  I would have made weapons with fire and come up with a strategic cat and mouse plan of attack.  Like create a fire as bait to get the players where you wanted, then ambush them with something catastrophic like a bigger fire surrounding them or traps.  If they thought more, it could have been easier.  Also… she has a bow and arrow and is amazing with that.  She should’ve been in the tree sniping everyone but I guess that she was trying to take the high road and not kill anyone, which completely makes no sense.  I would be shanking people left and right, for my own survival of course.  Perhaps she was just waiting for everyone else to kill each other off, which mostly worked.

Most of all, what better way to portray “capitol”?  The deep pocketed, technological puppet-masters, manipulating the atmosphere, capable of changing the rules at will. They take naive, young people, and make them compete for survival.  They are their puppets.  And the entire time, these children are scared like deer in headlights.  They don’t know the right thing to say on television.  Half the time, they are stumbling through each task, making it up as they go.  It’s a game, and who know’s if the people will love you or hate you?  Will your sponsors pick you up?  Will you be the best?   They are winging it and they are climbing on each other just to survive.  It is the rest of the world watching their struggles for entertainment.

 I have not read the books and I hear that a lot is missed out, but I definitely will go see Hunger Games a second time.

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