Hunger Games Poster

Hunger Games Poster

So, I was wondering what to watch next for reviewing purposes, and then I stumbled upon the trailer for “Hunger Games 2 – Catching Fire” and I realized that I STILL had not watched “Hunger Games”.

I am slightly odd when it comes to watching movies. Sometimes, I need to watch it right away to form an opinion of my own and join in on the discussion. Other times I will shun the movie like the plague until everyone else has forgotten about it so that all the wooplah and woodilido of the media doesn’t ruin my experience. I often do this with big teenage franchises. I did it with “Twilight” in the hopes that I would watch it at a time and a place that would make me like it. I watched it during a girls night with red wine, chocolate and a bunch of friends (my own age) who love the Twilight movies. And I STILL didn’t like it. So there you go. Bad movie. Or at least badly cast which essentially renders the entire experience bad.

You’re probably getting the feeling that I am going to parallell my Twilight experience to my Hunger Games one, and indeed you are correct. They are both franchises of multiple films targeted at teenaged girls whom (apparently) long to be desired by multiple boy characters in a world similar, yet different to our own.

The one huge, vast, insurmountable, and at times incomprehensible difference between the two is…that I absolutely LOVE Hunger Games ūüėÄ And I’ll come clean right off the bat, I have not read the books. So I love this story untarnished by any visions I might have had should I have read the book first. And you should be thankful about that. You should also be thankful that all Harry Potter films have been released and I am unlikely to review them, as it would take a book for me to explain how much I hate the Harry Potter films. But pleasantly unaware as to what deviates between the book and the film, I am able to love Hunger Games like one loves a freshly baked papaya and lychee muffin (cause you haven’t tried it before;)

Jennifer Lawrence looking very serious and oh so cool with her bow and arrow.

Jennifer Lawrence looking very serious and oh so cool with her bow and arrow.

The number one reason why I love Hunger Games comes with a serious, yet determined facial expression, but still a twinkle behind those blue/green eyes that makes her a whole different class of actress than the rest (read Kristen Stewart). Yes, I am talking about now Oscar winner, Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer Lawrence who apparently doesn’t prepare for her roles, as she likes “in-the-moment-acting”. Jennifer Lawrence whom I got a crush on in “Silver Linings Playbook”. Jennifer Lawrence whom, I am certain, would have made even me enjoy the Twilight movies (anything but Kristen would do really). And let’s just admit it, how freaking cool is a bow and arrow. And how cool is it that a female is aces at hitting targets with it. Ever since I tried archery in Mongolia and found that years of watching movies actually had built in me an instinctive understanding of how to draw it (sounds easy, but I was the only one who got the arrow further than a couple of meters), I have had fantasies about having a bow and getting unmistakably good at hitting targets. Thus heroine with bow really hit me hard.

What is the most satisfying about watching Jennifer acting is knowing that she is only 22, and unless she ruins her life with drugs, which at the moment seems unlikely, she will give us a whole new level of brilliant acting. Prediction declared.

And look out for the scene where Katniss is showing off her skills to the drunken and easily distracted possible sponsors. It is a stunning visual metaphor on the contemporary attention span and perfectly illustrates how quickly one can go from celebrity to unknown and then back again to celebrity. And that just in a few short minutes.

The difference between being dressed in District 1 (left) and District 12 (right)

The difference between being dressed in District 1 (left) and District 12 (right)

As a fan of science fiction and fantasy, I always appreciate how a foreign world can put so many of our own issues and problems in a new perspective and make you think about our own world in different way. For instance, in the world of Hunger Games, there are 12 districts where each district specializes in something, the higher the number, the further away from the capital the district, the more primary their¬†skill set, a similar way we draw invisible class distinctions in our societies.¬† Katniss is from 12th District where they are coalminers by trade. Now for those of you who don’t already know this, the storyline of Hunger Games centers around the reality show/x factor televised game “The Hunger Games” where 24 youths, also known as Tributes, fight to survive. Last one standing wins, be it natural causes or murder, although the producers of the show don’t seem to enjoy natural causes as much as they do the moral dilemma of them killing each other. And boy do they have creative ways of making sure that their show doesn’t become dull. The reasons for the game in the first place are to my brain a bit hazy, but it has to do with reminding all the districts of a past rebellion by making them offer up two Tributes (one girl and one boy) each year to fight it out in the games. Glory to the last boy or girl standing.

You will love this little girl too. Rue.

You will love this little girl too. Her name is Rue.

If there is one thing I find interesting, it is when I watch a film that makes me ask myself; “What would I do?” Not just the obvious; “Would I kill the other kids to survive myself?” That one can leave your brain ticking for quite some time, but the question that interestes me the most is; “Would I watch this?”

And the glaringly obvious answer is; “Yes, yes I would”.

If “The Hunger Games” existed in the form portrayed in this film, you could not not watch it. It has the glamour of X-factor and the serious outcome of a Roman gladiator match. I can sit here in my comfortable living room in a wealthy country enduring peaceful years upon years and say that it is wrong and we shouldn’t kill. But if this show was a part of our society, I know my morbid curiosity would have to watch it. And the fact that the show is interactive is even a bigger draw for someone who is getting increasingly more used to every show trying to include it’s audience to create a buzz on the web. If rich and powerful people like any of the youths, they can sponsor them if they fall prey to injuries or food/water shortage. The reality of their situation would draw me in and I defy anyone to a discussion who says they wouldn’t watch it. Humans are¬†intrinsically¬†fascinated by death, and this show displays death in it’s most raw and pure form.

Katniss and Peeta in their supersleek suits for the parade where Tributes are displayed like the olympics.

Katniss and Peeta in their supersleek suits for the parade where Tributes are displayed like the olympics.

I wouldn’t want to be in the draw to be a Tribute though… so I am a hypocrite… but then aren’t we all?

It is a fact that not so many hundreds of years ago, this game, to a fashion, happened in the grand¬†colosseums¬†of the Roman Empire, and it took a long time before anyone questioned the morality of that. Who is to say that a couple of thousand years from now we won’t have gone full circle on moral issues and go back to watching murder for entertainment? It scares me that I see that situation as a very real outcome in the future of the world. One of many, but I believe it could happen.

On a more cheerful note, the visual juxtaposition of the colourful inner districts and the drab and dirty outer districts are stunning. The production design in this movie is perfect and is a huge part of what makes me believe this could happen sometime, somewhere. It is worth the watch alone. Rarely has science fiction been so real without being our own world.

Now last, but not least, I’d like to mention the impending Love Triangle.

So Katniss, here in her home district, District 12, is at the start of the movie chummy with...

So Katniss, here in her home, District 12, is at the start of the movie chummy with…

...this fellah, Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth (isn't he dashing), they play in the woods together and stuff, but when Katniss volunteers to partake in the Hunger Games, cicumstance and teenage hormones have her falling for...

…this fellah, Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth (isn’t he dashing). They play in the woods together and stuff, but when Katniss volunteers to partake in the Hunger Games, circumstance and teenage hormones have her falling for…

...her fellow District 12 Tribute Peeta (love it how that name sounds like Peter).

…her fellow District 12 Tribute Peeta, here looking very manly and beaten up ¬†(love it how that name sounds like Peter).

The boys in these movies (both Twilight and Hunger Games) are as bland, characterflawed and soulless as the hard core chick, often of asian persuasion or at least dark haired, who kicking and screaming fights her way through any action, lemme-blow-up-loadsa-shit movie you can find. I know. My boyfriend makes me watch them all.¬†Maybe it is a teenage thing. As teenagers we are generally more self centered, so teenage girls will be more concentrated on Katniss and what she does and how she looks and identify with that, thus the boys only need to be mildly good looking for them to accept or perhaps join in the infatuation. At least in Hunger Games the choice of boys is a tad better than in Twilight as I have never seen the compulsion to choose between a boy as white as a dead body or a babyface (yes, the wolf). But then again there hasn’t appeared a sharply divided fan base arguing about whether Katniss should end up with Peeta or Gale, so what do I know. Although maybe it’s too soon for the first movie to create that sort of craze. After all there wasn’t any focus on the problems of that particular triangle, only delightfully obvious hints. I’m sure we will meet the repercussions in the next installment, which comes to cinemas (in Norway anyway) in November. God, that’s long to wait.

In the meantime, watch the trailer for “Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire” over and over again. I know I will ūüėČ