On Hunger Games as Movie

THE WAR OUTSIDE OUR DOOR: A Review of The Hunger Games

….What does come across without a hitch, every bit as surprisingly, is the nasty artifice of Capitol. It’s one thing to read about — the stylists’ hair and body modifications, the sickening day-glo opulence, the muted slaves, the debased consumption, the androgyne and hermaphrodite of it all — but, to be honest, I was more worried about this part than the Muttations or the flame effects, going in. And yet not a single person in the theatre once laughed at them, at their ridiculous fashion and willful ignorance, the orange lipstick and half-shaven electric blue hair. I think this comes down to a few things: We have been desensitized by wannabes and tryhards (Lady Gaga) and mental patients (Klaus Nomi, Nicki Minaj) to accept bizarre costumery in our entertainment, and even bring it out into the real world.

But more than that, I think it’s Effie. The movie practically begins and turns on her lovely, haggard, terrified, schizoid face. Tight closeups, HD pore-defining closeups, put you so far her makeup and into her ruined heart that, by the time you see her full-body shot she’s neither a clown nor a villain, but something dreadfully strong and eminently pitiable. The cracks in her, seen from that close up, go all the way down — and once you’ve seen that, and dealt with it, and learned to love it and to laugh at it, the gross disposable neon plasticity of Capitol becomes a fact of your life, not a distraction at all.

 

 

Read the rest of the review here.

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