I never watch Fantasy films! And although The Lord of the Rings, Twilight and Harry Potter Films almost haunted you in recent years, I successfully refused to spend countless hours in fairytale woods and magician boarding schools.
Now the Hunger Games was released and was advertised with a horrific poster – A flaming broach and a girl with a flaming arrow. Fantasy fans may have been hot for this film, but I couldn’t have cared less.
But I actually spent 142 minutes of my Saturday Night in the woods of Panem and didn´t merely watch hero Katniss Everdeen but really suffered with her.
What had happened?
Winter’s Bone (D: Debra Granik, USA 2010)
Before Jennifer Lawrence played the hero in The Hunger Games, she was the lead in the srama Winter’s Bone. Here, she wandered the woods as Ree, in a very different and sadly very real context. Debra Graniks film depicts the Milieu of the poorest American country folks The families live from hand to mouth and when Rees Dad Jessup diappears, shes alone with her two little siblings and depressed mom. To avoid the police taking their house, Ree starts looking for her missing father and digs intrepidly in her own families dirt.
The brave Independent film was in the cinemas at the beginning of last year and Jennifer Lawrence was praised for her amazing performance (i.e. with an Oscra nomination). She embodied the tough daughter with such fine nuances and so wonderfully unflinching, one didn´t dare blinking when she was on the screen!
So Winter’s Bone had made me a Jennifer Lawrence Fan and after reading about her apparently great work in The Hunger Games I just had to watch it!
The Hunger Games (D: Gary Ross, USA 2012)
Panem is a divided country. Theres 12 poor Districts and one rich capital. After an averted uprising of the districs the Hunger Games were established. Each districs must send one man and woman to take part in this game, whose winner will also be it´s only survivor. Staged and manipulated the games are an Entertainment Event to the people in the capital. They watch the anual slaughtering with champagne and snacks, while the people in the districs fear for their childrens lives with empty stomachs.
Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to partake in the game to save her little sister from this destiny. Together with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) she must first join the training and later the fight in the woods. Once selected the canditates don´t only fight for their live, but also for the liking of the viewers, as this will earn them sponsors which make surviaval a lot easier.
It’s a perverted Fantasy Game that seems to reflect our real society in some parts. Again and again the wearknesses of groups or individuals are used to amuse or entertain others via the meida. Ofter curiosity overrules the conscience and so the proposal of Kantiss’ friend Gale could certainly be directed at some real TV-programmes: „If noone would watch them, they wouldn´t have a show.“
The Hunger Games are the first part of Suzanne Collins best selling trilogy by the same title and I am already looking forward to part two (announced for release in 2013) and part three…