I went to see the movie Hunger Games with my 11 year old last night. She had already seen it with her classmates last week, but she enjoyed it so much that she wanted to see it again, and she wanted too share it with me. (Proud Mommy moment!) The books by Suzanne Collins were like close friends to both my daughter and my son. They blazed through the series with a feverishness that delighted me. (I love it when my children devour literature.) I myself hadn’t read the books, but I was aware of the content. My daughter herself had talked to me extensively about the plot while she was reading the books in real time. I knew that it was a violent set up, with fights to the death for children in a futuristic World. But the violence wasn’t what she was attracted to, it was the inner struggle of the main character to find her place in the World, and to determine how she could be true to herself and to her ideals. So the violence being dramatized in the movie was a concern for me when my daughter said she wanted to see the movie. I made sure to read several reviews that I felt comfortable allowing her to see the PG-13 flick comfortably.
After seeing the movie she reported that the violence wasn’t graphic at all, and the filming was deliberately herky jerky dimming the impact of it anyway. So, with all of that reassurance I stepped into the theatre confident that I would have an enriching experience with my child, watching her favorite book come to life before my eyes. Well, it definitely came to life…and death, in vivid detail. There were dead children everywhere! Maybe it’s because I am a mother. Maybe it’s because I work with children all of the time. Maybe it’s because every news program I see these days includes a report about the real life murder of a child in this country. I could not take this movie at all. It was really disturbing for me. I know without a doubt that it will be a long time before I will be able to shake the image of the onscreen death of the character Rue, played by Amandla Stenberg, who happens to look startling similar to the daughter I was sitting next to in the movie theatre.
Yeah, see what I mean? Special!
Look, I am not usually faint of heart when it comes to action films. I love the Transporter and Jason Bourne series. And in all fairness the literal violence in The Hunger Games wasn’t over the top. It was all born from the text and the plot. But for me personally it was too much. I woke up this morning seeing the dead eyes of those children in my head. That was not the kind of residual effect I was hoping for from entertainment I paid for. But that was just my personal experience.
My personal experience aside I can use my professional experience to offer a review of the movie technically.
The acting was spot on and produced with ease. Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, and my longtime kid favorite Josh Hutcherson, (who can forget Little Manhattan?), were all magnificent. However, Jennifer Lawrence as the main character of Katniss did a truly phenomenal job conveying her characters’ internal fear and anxiety, while simultaneously portraying her outward mask of stubborn defiance. The scene that really nailed it for me was with Cinna, (played by Lenny Kravitz), during the 30 second countdown to the start of the games. When she had to make her way into the transport tube, her quiet fear was subtle in presentation, but utterly palpable.
The filming style of the movie gave me a bit of a headache, with all of the blurry imagery, but it made sense for the story. As you know, I haven’t read the book, but I didn’t need any explanations to understand the storyline. (Though my daughter liberally shared information with me in a hushed whisper throughout the movie. Bless her heart.) The pacing was perfect, the music was unobtrusive, and the costumes were startling at times, but never ridiculous our out of step witht he mood the design team seemed to be trying to create. In other words, I would give the movie a 10!
Although, bottom line, 10 and all, I still never want to see that movie again. Guess I just don’t have a taste for the Hunger Games, or just not the stomach for it.
Did you see it? What did you think?
This is a *Level 13 The product or service mentioned was bought and paid for with Miss Lori’s own hard earned money that she doesn’t have a lot of, and thus doesn’t like to part with, so it must have been important.
Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista ,ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter , TOUT and LinkedIn.