The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games ★★★

exists in a weird cross section between essential post 9/11 works like War of the Worlds and Cloverfield and late 2000’s fox movies; enough grit to give the actually pretty awesome early internet dystopia where entertainment and fascism reign supreme some weight and relevance but enough murky unimpressive aesthetics to really let any of its neat visual moments stick. The camera is only hand operated to a point-while it tries to feel amateur and docu-like, it still carries the weight of a massive production. Most of this lighting and editing really don’t work together with the cinematography, so while it’s an effective, well acted drama that has moments of cinematic clarity, it never totally ascends the way the implied depth of this world and these characters wants it to. 

In terms of filmmaking.

The Hunger Games as a text owns, throwing a bunch of interesting ideas about entertainment and classism and the ways the evil view human lives into a tight pot-it’s world is instantly realized and tinged with this bitter sarcasm that a take on a 2010’s reality TV run fascist society needs, and characters that feel the weight of this horrible nightmare they live in and react accordingly. What keeps the movie constantly interesting are the powerhouse performances that make up all of it-where other YA adaptations of the mid 2010’s feel weightless and fantastical in some way (even when they’re “dystopian”), these people feel beaten down and broken. No one is the authors insert-everyone has to do what they need to survive. Where teens in other series feel youthful, these kids have humanity taken away by an uncaring capitalist fist. Something crafted deep into the bush era like this should not hold up as well as this does, but even now it feels crushingly possible, a nihilistic peace that shows us what happens when we don’t rise up against those that have always been keeping us down. What an interesting little film