The Hunger Games Series and Why It Kinda Sucks

 

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The Hunger Games official trailer…

 


 

 

The Plot Line

A major one being that the plot line for The Hunger Games movies is just so ridiculously weak. We never delve into the subtleties of life under President Snow, we only get brief glances at political structure, we never really get the ancillary characters needed to provide depth to the regime in the Capitol, everything in this movie is just the briefest of brief glance….. And without that sort of explanation to the audience, we’re left with a shallow movie that’s really just focused on Katniss crying and a bunch of action shots.

Perhaps I’m privileged…
I’m just so used to the elaborate worlds created by the likes of Robert Jordan and Tolkien that it bothers me when we have this world that could be so intricate and beautiful and well put together for the audience…
But we just never get to see more of it. All the intricacies of that world that was created are lost in The Hunger Games movies.

Then to top it off plot line wise, all the deaths are wildly convenient to Katniss! She never ever has to make the hard decision. The plot line basically lets her coast through everything while everybody else randomly and conveniently dies around her. You know what else is convenient? Her injuries, they’re all “Oh no another facial wound that wont leave any kind of mark” or “owie my leg is hurted”.

And you know what, Katniss’ relationships are worthless in these movies. We’re never given enough information to become attached to characters she supposedly likes so much. So to the audience, it’s just kind of “OH SHE LIKES HIM THATS NICE” and “OH NO POOR BB STAY ALIVE KATNISS LOVES YOUUUUUU”.

Ultimately the plot line of the Hunger Game movies is just a big ball of convenience for Katniss, with complete focus on Katniss, and only brief glances at everything else.

 

Depth

Then, in the movies, there we are in some kind of dystopian future with wildly advanced medical technology and aircraft in the Capitol, but extremely poor conditions in other territories. Now if y’all really wanted to get the point across you would’ve emphasized that point Mr. big time Hollywood director. Instead we’re just left to notice that point ourselves… The problem of course being the audience only experiences that point through the fancy train. Everything else that might give us the impression of extreme wealth and technology in the Capitol and jack squat in the other regions only accounts for seconds of screen time. But perhaps there’s an assumption that you already understand this from the books.

Another thing besides the wealth gap and technology gap that is poorly explained in the films is the roles of “sponsors” and the literal rules to the hunger games. The only kind of sponsor action we ever see is from Haymitch… and that bugs me. I think there was an opportunity to add more depth and create a more dystopian, undesirable, feel to the movie by having big corporate sponsors give extra fancy stuff to opponents of Katniss while Haymitch struggled to get enough money just to give her medicine.

There’s just such weak usage of ancillary characters in the films. Katniss’ team is strong because of all these other characters, but those characters are never given the moment they need in the movie to let them shine and give us an idea of who they really are.

 

Feminism

Well… feminism!

Let’s see…

*loud computer crashing noises*

Error 404 Feminism Not Found

 

No just kidding! I can see the semblances of feminism in The Hunger Games series… but I feel perhaps that feminism is a little lost in the movies.

The main argument for The Hunger Games series being a step forward for feminism in Hollywood seems to be based on the fact that the main character is in fact a woman AND she’s not relegated to shitty roles inside the movie.

That’s great! It really is, shockingly, a legitimate step forward for Hollywood to just have the star of a film being a female… let alone have that film be successful.

But inside the movies themselves… as noted above, I just think Katniss is kind of a joke. Everything is so convenient.
And on top of that, The Hunger Games movies are fast paced action and never really delve into the societal issues of this dystopian era that exists inside the movies. There’s no room for there to be even an acknowledgement that Katniss is this powerful woman who’s the face of the rebellion.

We do get another semblance of feminism in the form of President Alma Coin, the president of the underground District 13. So that’s nice… she has a dictatorish feel to her but whatever.

And of course, I hear it’s important to have female role models inside pieces of art for kids. So that’s a pro on the feminism side for these films.

And I mean… yeah… that seems to be it for the feminism in The Hunger Games films… did I miss anything?

Anyways I guess you can’t wish for better though.

I mean… Hollywood right.

Baby steps.

Closing Notes

The makeup situation in The Hunger Games movies is weird as hell, “oh yeah I’m just going through all this rubble and shit but my makeup is permanently on point and the dirtiest I’ve ever gotten is that single strand of sweaty hair in my face”. Yeah okay then.

And I really did enjoy the Romanesque feelings the movie gave off with the over indulgence in food and fashion in the Capitol. It almost reminded me of Julie Taymor’s Titus film.

Ultimately, the fast paced action style of The Hunger Games films feels wrong to me.
I get the feeling that the movies would’ve been so much more satisfying to the audience if we were allowed to explore The Hunger Games world and not just rush through it. Using a slower paced styling would’ve allowed a more intricate plot line where Katniss’ romantic partners could’ve been emphasized, feminist aspects could’ve been emphasized, and the dystopian aspects of life under President Snow could’ve been emphasized.

Oh.
Well.
#hollywood


 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Trailer


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer

 


 

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Why The Hunger Games Movies Could Have Been Better by Jordan Wunderlich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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