What I Learned From The Hunger Games

April 10, 2012

It must be difficult for a teenaged girl to face near-certain death in a televised battle constructed to suit the whims of a dictatorial federal government. Not that I would know that from watching the performance of Jennifer Lawrence. But that’s not entirely her fault, given the way that the filmmakers set up the story. When you isolate the protagonist and insist on documenting her story in a largely subjective manner, you don’t allow for much dialogue. And you don’t fully utilize the action sequences to let your actress off the hook from time to time.

But it’s not like there was a character in the story who could offer a different point of view. Perhaps an older figure who had been in a similar situation before her. Who had also been involved in a televised battle to the death, who killed children in order to survive, and now was forced to groom future generations of gladiators to do the same. It would be a difficult life for this character, perhaps leading him to alcoholism. Maybe he would have something important to say to the lead character about life and death, and perhaps find his own direction in the process. But that character must not have existed in the source material, or they certainly would’ve included it in the movie.