I just got home from seeing “The Hunger Games.” I will definitely be in the minority by saying this, but I wasn’t overly impressed.
I am all for dystopian, Orwellian fiction. George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” are two of my favorite books, painting images of state-controlled future worlds. I ultimately feel like this film is just inconsequential. It was definitely gripping and kept my sharp attention during the span of 2+ hours, but I have difficulty surmising any solid concepts, themes, or morals after it had ended. Sure, there were subtle suggestions of the importance of loyalty to loved ones and friends via “tributes,” and slight mentions of individuality, but they were drowned out by the overall bleakness of the overall “lethal lottery” concept. Yes, the plot and its supporting details are imaginative, but the film missed several opportunities to make any substantial commentaries on human behavior within the extreme circumstances in which the characters find themselves. I’ve been told I just need to read the books to fully enjoy it, and that’s definitely a fair suggestion. But based on what I’ve seen, I don’t plan on rushing to Barnes & Noble to buy them.
Furthermore, and let me preface this by saying that I’m not a conservative person, but I’m a bit shocked the film didn’t receive an “R” rating. Heavy subject matter aside, I felt like the film had too much graphic violence for a PG-13 rating. If I had kids, I wouldn’t take them to see it. I’m actually surprised there wasn’t much more of an uproar from parents or conservative “family values” groups around the country regarding this rating. What is interesting to me, though, is that a film like “Bully” is initially given an R-rating due to a few uses of profanity, but a film in which teenagers are brutally murdering each other is permissible viewing material for children. Forget the topic of real-life bullying, these kids are brutally murdering each other. It’s bullying to the most extreme degree. If I were to play conspiracy theorist, I would say that the movie studio must have given the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) some kind of financial incentive to give the film a PG-13 rating. That wouldn’t surprise me, as that organization is no stranger to shady business, as evidenced in the documentary “This Film is Not Yet Rated.”
I’m still hungry, but I probably won’t go back for seconds.