The Hunger Games First Movie Trailer, Explained…

by on November 17, 2011

in Entertainment

Lionsgate released the first movie trailer for what I am calling a highly anticipated movie, The Hunger Games.  I don’t know about you, but I am anticipating the release of this movie, which is due out on March 23rd, 2012.

The Hunger Games is directed by Gary Ross (The Tale of Despereaux, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville).  Gary also had a hand in working over the screenplay, as did the book’s author, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray (State of Play, Breach).  Just looking at the combined credits of these three alone makes me start to get wound up about what we could possibly see on the silver screen for The Hunger Games.

Katniss and Peeta character sheets from THE HUNGER GAMES

The cast seems well chosen for the different characters from the Collins novel, and if anything, the movie trailer seems to show that the movie is following the book very closely.  At least, that’s what it looks like.  And such being as it may, then The Hunger Games book is being brought to life grander than ever, as fans watch their favorite characters step out of the pages of the book and their imaginations and given form.

In this first movie trailer for The Hunger Games, we pretty much are seeing the front or opening stages of the story that get set for the ensuing drama that unfolds within the narrative of the book.  If you’re uninitiated into the franchise of the book trilogy, after the trailer, I’m about to explore the details of what we see here in the movie trailer…  in other words, after the trailer that’s embedded here, are HUGE SPOILERS for the story, so proceed past this point, at your own risk.

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Story Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Warning

OK, you’ve been warned.

The fence you see Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) sliding through is the compound fence of District 12, where she lives.  It’s highly illegal to slip outside the boundaries of the District, but some look the other way as she and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) tend to bring back yummy food morsels for important persons in their district.  Fresh food is a scarcity in the district.

Gale is her best friend, who Katniss is talking with on the hillside.

Everyone meandering towards a single point is for the required event called The Reaping.  The Reaping is when contestants are drawn from the children of the Districts to compete in The Hunger Games.  This takes place because the controlling government, The Capitol, wants to remind each district who is in charge.  (There was a war previous to this where the Capitol kicked all their butts.  Now they use their power to create a totalitarian society.)

Kat tells her little sister Primrose (Willow Shields) or Prim, that her name is only going into the draw once, because a child gets their name entered once for each year they’re eligible to be drawn into The Hunger Games, and then more entries are added if the children do things like ask for extra food rations for the year for their family, and so forth.

That crazy lady in purple is Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), the woman from the Capitol assigned to draw the lottery of one boy and one girl from each District.  She does this depressing job… oh, never mind.  You’ll see in the movie.

Katniss volunteers because it’s acceptable for any child to volunteer for the Games, though it’s never done.  In this case, she does so to save her sister from the games.

Why does Gale say, “They want a good show?

Because these are The Hunger Games… an event televised by the Capitol, and is REQUIRED watching.  Again, showing their power over the masses and reminding the districts who is in charge.

The train is whisking the tributes away to the Capitol, where they will be prepared for the games.  As you see, the Capitol is a wonderful little enclave of technology.  But when you compare it to what you’ve seen in Katniss’ District 12, you can see that the center of power keeps most of the other districts in desperate conditions, keeping them under thumb.

Katniss: “So you’re here to make me look pretty?

Cinna: “I’m here to help you make an impression.

What Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), who is Kat’s fashion designer or stylist means is that he’s trying to maker her more flashy for the reality TV ceremonies that air prior to The Hunger Games themselves.  If viewers get involved, or motivated by what they see in the introductory ceremonies of the games, then they can contribute and send rewards or gifts to the contestants while they’re in the arena.

Woody Harrelson is Haymitch Abernathy.  He’s a winner from a previous game, and past winners are required to coach the new contestants.  They then give the tributes insights, guide them along their way, from step one to the point to when they are no longer needed to coach.  It’s a mixed soul that Haymitch is.  If Harrelson plays this like I expect or hope him to, he could be an incredible part of the story.  If you’re confused about his looks, past winners are well taken care of by the Capitol.

The scene where Kat is demonstrating her bow, is the practice arena…  each tribute from the Districts gets to show off what they’re best at to game officials.  Then the officials who are watching, can stack the game arena with things that favor that tribute, because they only start out with the clothes on their backs.

If I’m going to die, I want to still be me.“  That’s the bread makers son, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).  Be prepared to be confused by this guy.   In fact, be prepared to be confused by the dynamic that Katniss and Peeta present.  Sheesh…  (If you’ve read the books, you know what I mean.  Once you see the movie, you’ll get what I mean.)

That Countdown scene is when all the contestants are thrust into the playing arena.

A custom designed environment that challenges the contestants, and also “help” them face off against each other.   In this case, as they come up into the field, there is a pile of backpacks and weapons in an area called the Cornucopia.  The entire collective of goodies are designed to tempt the tributes to go for it… go get that favored weapon, or that backpack of food, medicine, etc…  but the problem is that some of the tributes are known as career tributes.  They train for this… and they’re deadly coming into the games.  Trying to tempt fates and rush for a backpack or weapon that calls to you, obviously put there to bait specific players, brings them within arms reach of some of the other, very dangerous tributes.  It’s a choice or a gamble to rush for gifts or head off into the hills to hide, bide your time and plot.

As you can see, at least Katniss snags a backpack, but not the one weapon she wants.  But does she get the weapon?  Is that her next goal?

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