It seems like most of the poor reviews of the Hunger Games were made by so-called star critics demanding more blood and guts. They complained that the movie wasn’t shocking or violent enough, didn’t have the impact it should have had on its intended audience. I’m very uncomfortable with this opinion because, as John Green says in his wonderful review, The Hunger Games is all about the “morally fraught” relationship between observer and observed. Gary Ross and the cast and crew did a great job of making the violence uncomfortable and shocking without making it gratuitous; demanding more gratifying bloodshed inflicted upon children makes us like the people of Panem.
Saying that the movie needs more bloodshed, more violent entertainment is more a commentary on our society’s darker desires rather than an honest understanding of the film and book’s message. It’s like how the Western world pays attention to the struggles of developing nations when they spit out a hero or a particularly brutal event, but the media immediately drops the subject when the situation no longer proves entertaining. Why the hell should we stop paying attention to something when it ceases to amuse us? Doesn’t that make us no better than Effie Trinkett & co.? We liked hearing about Egypt when it was giving us heroic young people battling against a totalitarian regime (sound familiar?), but now that it’s into the boring politics we don’t really care anymore. And may I remind you that more attention was paid to Kenya as the possible birthplace of Barack Obama than it was as the graveyard for thousands of innocent people killed by famine.
So to those reviewers crying “MORE GORE!”, I have this to say: You didn’t get it. At all.