Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Hunger Games - 飢餓遊戲

The Hunger Games (飢餓遊戲) is an 2012 film. The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. The supporting cast includes Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Lenny Kravitz. The film is based on the popular US YA book of the same name. The filmmakers expect to make this a long franchise.

The story is based in an alternative universe where Asians do not seem to exist. Maybe one district. The world is divided up into districts and they must offer up tribute to an authoritative regime. Imagine if North Korea were to take over Estonia or Finland. Strike that, imagine if the USSR were still around in the age of social media, etc. The district we're focused on is that of our two main protagonist, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. When they're selected as annual tribute for their district, they must be trained into well oil killing machines, because the tributes have to kill each other. And the last one standing is given freedom and riches! It is a dual to the death for these teenagers! The country stays peaceful and the rich get richer!

This movie was really difficult to watch. I think its because I watched a similar movie out of Japan only a dozen years ago called Battle Royale (BR). BR was revolutionary for its time because of the teenagers involved. The stars of those films went on to acclaim and a certain gal even appeared in a Kill Bill story arc. With that back drop, the Hunger Games people claim no knowledge of BR and that it was inspired writing. Yupe, the lack of whites in BR was repaid with the lack of Asians in The Hunger Games.

That aside, was the movie any good? Yes, the movie was well produced and told a really compelling story. Can our society ever get to a point of this? Unlikely, but it comments on the what can you deem acceptable for your society? Will tributes ever be acceptable for the US?

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