Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Movie Review: The Hunger Games (2012)
Words by Thrasher
Moot points about originality aside, what matters is the way this story, however recycled, is told. Unfortunately, Hunger Games makes several key formal errors. One element that has drawn significant criticism is the use of the reviled "shaky cam," and rightly so. I can understand the desire for a kind of documentary realism, but the camera movement is so messy and burlesqued that I often had no idea what was going on until the characters came to a stop, and even then, by the time I had regained my bearings, off we were again on another blotted green trip through the simulated woods. Even when the camera was forced to settle down for a minute while Katniss and Peeta gabbed, their dialogue was so insipid, and their delivery so poor, that I secretly wished for the familiar Roy G. Biv blur to resume. During these confabs, though, K and P decide to put on a front of love. They do this in order to earn the support of a million-plus saps watching around the world, specifically the powerful "sponsors," who, if properly touched or impressed by their "affection," can provided emergency medical supplies to the participants. Naturally, this kind of unintentional self-critique is something Hollywood simply cannot stand. And, naturally, simplistically, their love soon ceases to be an act, so what could have been a wonderful challenge to the kind of enforced, monogamist pair-bonding characteristic of Hollywood, becomes yet another triumph of simplistic, unfettered, "normal" heterosexual love. Hunger Games is just another movie, albeit one without conviction, without awareness, without politics.