Table of Contents
- Important Characters
- The Hunger Games Film Analysis
|Seneca Crane||Game master, in charge of running the Hunger Games|
|Effie Trinket||Escort to tributes of District 12.|
Her appearance changes constantly.
|Katniss Everdeen||She volunteers as tribute for District 12|
|Peeta Mellark||He was selected to be a tribute for District 12|
|Caesar Flickerman||Master of ceremonies, TV personality in the Capitol|
|Haymitch Abernathy||Former winner of the Hunger Games.|
He’s also from District 12.
He’s a mentor to Katniss and Peeta.
|President Coriolanus Snow||Leader of Panem|
The Hunger Games Film Analysis
The movie begins with non-diegetic text to provide prefacing comments explaining the social context and purpose for the Hunger Games. This serves the purpose of immersing viewers into the make believe world of Panem – viewers immediately know of the social unrest and brutal oppression of the Capitol.
“It’s the way we’ve been able to heal… it’s something that knits us all together”
The opening scene features Seneca Crane (game master) and Caesar Flickerman (master of ceremonies). As the two characters discuss the significance of the Hunger Games, the director predominantly uses the reverse shot. This shot is typical of modern talk shows or TV news interviews – viewers are encouraged to feel a sense of familiarity with this type of media. This point of view emphasises the central theme of social theatre, and highlights the see and be seen culture that pervades the logic of the Capitol. The use of costume, hair, and make up to dress these two influential media personalities also demonstrates the Capitol’s extreme obsession with public image and appearances.
The movie’s dystopian flavor is delivered through the juxtaposition on two levels. Firstly, in the movies opening scene. The contrast between the flashy stage decorations and carefully stage-managed optimistic comments and the brutal reality that children are randomly selected to participate and must kill other children to win the game is likely to be considered deeply disturbing to normal viewers.
Secondly, the contrast between scenes in the Capitol depicting immense wealth, luxury, and comfort, and scenes of District 12 depicting abject poverty, hardship, and a backward way of life.
Sound: Prim’s piercing scream of terror. She has nightmares about being randomly selected to participate in the Hunger Games.
The director uses a close up to depict Katniss and Prim’s intimate, sisterly love for each other. Katniss being the older sister takes it upon herself to comfort and protect Willow. This scene contextualizes Katniss’ brave sacrifice when she volunteers to be a tribute in place of her little sister on Reaping Day.
Katniss goes beyond District 12 to hunt for food. Driven by physical hunger, lack of money, and scarcity of food, she is forced to put herself at risk by transgressing the boundary set out by the authorities. This scene, featuring dangerous electrified barbed wire and an ominous sign, is a visual metaphor for how Katniss’ character develops to become a symbol of rebellion, fighting for justice against brutal oppression from the Capitol.
The use of professional lights, large screens, and a dedicated set-up crew reinforce the idea of social theatre in the world of Panem. It echoes the idea of scrutiny and the need to keep up appearances, to look obedient.
“Oh my god, is this real?”
The state of poverty is evident through Katniss’ interaction with this humble bread roll. When Gale produces this, she immediately sits up in surprise. Before breaking it into half to share with Gale, she inhales the smell as if to savor this precious commodity. This highlights how much District 12 is deprived of food. Moreover, that Gale traded a squirrel for the food clues viewers in to the economy of District 12. It flourishes on the underground, black market bartering system away from the official purview of the Capitol.
The use of colors emphasizes the difference between those in District 12 and those from the Capitol, separating the poor from the rich. The predominant color associated with District 12 are dull, muted, faded colors as seen in the costumes. On the other hand, Effie Trinket (a representative from the Capitol) wears bright, happy pink. The different colors correspond to the different attitudes to the Hunger Games too. While Effie celebrates the Games wholeheartedly, the other children from District 12 have grim facial expressions.