Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided between 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. Written by
It's a shame how one aspect can spoil the entire experience but that's what happened for me. Other reviewers have commented on the use of hand-held shaky-cam, fast-cut camera-work - none of them positively that I can find.
From the Trivia section on IMDb we read this one sentence:
---- The director has stated that his decision to go with shaky cam work, "had a lot to do with the urgency of what's going on and to reflect protagonist Katniss Everdeen's point of view." ----
There was nothing "urgent" about the first 2/3rds of the film. I'm glad I don't go around throwing my head from side-to-side in normal life, stressed or not. When are film-makers going to realise they are the only ones that truly like this type of camera-work? They sit there editing the film on their desktop monitors in an office but faithful movie-goers have to watch their "creativity" on 50ft+ screens, where every sudden jerk sideways is at best distracting, at worst nauseating. It doesn't convey urgency, it conveys amateurism. Enough already.
Hitchcock asked the composer Friedhofer, "where would the orchestra be?" when the latter wanted a string piece for a scene in "Lifeboat" The composer replied "The same place as the cameraman." We expect movies to have a soundtrack, and if the music is working properly, then we don't really notice it because it joins in with the visuals and enhances the scene. We are viewers of make-believe, sometimes realistic, often fantastical, and immersion into the world of the story is key to a satisfying movie-going experience. A camera being wiggled about on purpose draws attention to itself, and it shouldn't. This constant reminder of the presence of a, seemingly badly trained cameraman, is a real turn-off. Please stop it.
As far as the other aspects of the film were concerned, I found the narrative somewhat plodding, and the pre-games section of the film could have done with being 20-30mins shorter. I knew nothing about the books beforehand, so I'm of the opinion that this is perhaps one for the S.Collins enthusiast rather than the general movie-goer. Though if the other reviews are anything to go by, plenty of Collins' readers are not very pleased either!
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