I had no idea yesterday morning when I awoke, that I would be arriving two hours early last night to attend the midnight showing of the Hunger Games with several hundred teenaged girls, their mothers, and a few fathers sprinkled about, just for good measure.
Due to a last-minute glitch in some plans that my daughter had made to see the movie, I agreed to take her so she could share in the experience of watching the movie version of the book series that she had been reading.
I was a complete blank-slate regarding my expectations of the movie, since I had no real advanced idea of what it was about. I’m still processing it, but off the top of my head, here are a few observations. (By the way, below are some links to several reviews of the movie that I have not yet read. I wanted to share my own thoughts before I learned what others thought about it.)
First, it was a bit unnerving to watch children killing children. That just can’t be good for kids to see and then think about later. I sort of understand the reason in the story for this, but it just bothered me to “witness” it. I don’t have anything clever to say here… this is more of a visceral observation.
Second, I think the movie might have had more authenticity (at least for me) if the characters, at least once, had a conversation on how barbaric this annual ritual called “the reaping” was. Maybe the book spoke to this, but the characters in the movie just seemed to accept it as the way things were. That bugged me too.
Third, I know this is an unrealistic expectation on my part, but it seems that something so directly focused on “life and death” would have at least taken a minute or two to reflect on God’s part in all this… or even if a good God exists. Some metaphysical or ethical reflection by the characters seemed in order.
Fourth, I appreciated the lead character stepping in for her sister and how, even in the midst of such barbarism, she attempted to act with some genuine humanity toward the others. There was a little grace sprinkled throughout the movie.
I know these aren’t terribly deep thoughts, but after all, it was 12:30 a.m. when the movie started. I was barely awake to begin with and all I knew of the story was what I learned last night as I watched it. I’m sure the reviews below will prove to be much more helpful to you and me. I’m also sure that I will regret that I didn’t first read them before I shared my own thoughts on the movie.
PS – I should say that as a movie, it certainly held my attention as I reflected on what I was watching and as I tried to figure out what was going to happen next. I made my daughter promise not to tell me. She was true to her word.
Grace and Truth,