If you haven’t, then you should. I usually don’t write movie reviews, but I am for this one. This one is special. I bought the book for my 16 year old son to read and I wound up stealing it from him only to finish it in four days. Just in time for the movie! I couldn’t put it down, except for the couple of times that I just went “Ewwwww!” Then I ‘d pick it right back up!
I know for a lot of homeschoolers finding movies to watch with your family can be tough; but this one, I will recommend and it’s ok if you don’t agree with me. But here’s my opinion on why you should see it.
*Here’s my warning: It is PG13 for a reason. There are scenes of teens killing teens, which can be hard to take unless you understand the reasoning behind it. This is not really want they do, they have no choice or everyone suffers. I suggest reading the book first if you can. But, the way the film is shot, you really don’t see it, you just know that it is happening. Actually, The Patriot or Jurassic Park is more graphic in my opinion.
Twenty-four are selected, a boy and girl tribute from each district, only one will survive.
- If you have a teen that is studying civics or government then this film is a must. They will learn a lot about what can happen in a society where humanness and compassion are forgotten. They will learn about a dictatorial government run amok. This is a place where stepping out of line, standing up for one another or standing up against those in power means execution or at least public humiliation. You could compare and contrast it to the times we are living in or tie it in to the coming elections and why selecting our leaders is so pivotal.
- Compassion, this is one of the main teachings of Christ. Having compassion for our fellow man. In the society that Katniss and Peeta and the other tributes live, this is forgotten in the Capitol. But not among the poor in the districts. They risk their lives to feed their families. Katniss lays her life on the line time and time again. Are we so willing? This isn’t a Christian film but you could definitely draw from it.
- There is a romantic triangle between Katniss, Peeta her fellow tribute from her district and Gayle, her best friend. Everything is done in good taste. There are a couple of passionate kisses between Katniss and Peeta, but again they are tastefully done. But are they really in love or is it just for show to win the affections of the sponsors and the viewers? This is a game show after all.
- Students will learn what happens when reality tv is allowed to move beyond what we would consider acceptable. The Hunger Games are a reality game show meant for the enjoyment of the viewers and it is meant to be celebrated. It’s also meant to remind the districts of what will happen if they try to rebel again. What happens when we become numb to what we see on tv?
- The districts and they way everyone is forced to live reminds me of the Nazi concentration camps. Could this happen again? Does this happen now?
- Although the glitz and shine of the Capitol could change Katniss and Peeta, and the gruesomeness of the games, they make a decision to remain true to who they are. They don’t want to pawns.
- There are kids who are trained from a young age to be tributes. They are trained killers and at the right age will volunteer if not selected. This could be a great discussion about what happens when children are taught hate at a young age. Although, in the end one of the Career Kids admits when faced with his own demise, that he always knew he would die and his own anger towards what the government has done to him is shown when he looks and says’ “Is this what you wanted?”. Although not all of them share his sentiment.
- You will go through an emotional rollercoaster with this movie. It can be heart-wrenching at times. There were times I even laughed. I was at the edge of my seat and sometimes, yes, covering my eyes. But I didn’t want the movie to end. From the beginning, to when Katniss hugs Cinna and steps into the tube to enter the arena (my heart sank at this point) to the end; I was glued and so were my kids. Even my husband liked it!
- It stayed true to the book. I wish they could include everything, but I’d still be at the theater if they did.
- The acting was impeccable. This is an all-star cast and Woodie Harrelson as Haymitch was amazing. Everyone was amazing and they should all be given Oscars right now!
The book and the movie give many opportunities for great discussions, study or even essay assignments for middle school and high school.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. This is a must see and a must read. I did forget to mention that there are a few curse words here and there. But they are no too bad; I hear worse on regular tv sometimes. My kids ages are 13, 16 and 18 years old. As with any movie, you know your child and what they can handle seeing. If you’re unsure, then I suggest that you have a date night and see it first. I hope this helps if you’re considering whether or not to see this movie. Now on to book two for me!