Hunger Games Analysis
Transcript of Hunger Games Analysis
The Hunger Games
Introducing the characters…
Katniss and Primrose – At the start of the movie, a horrifying scream is heard which the camera then focuses on the person who made the noise. In this short scene, we can see that both characters (Katniss & Primrose) are in a bad situation. Not only does this introduce the main character and another sub character, it also gives the audience a hint about the relationship between these two people. From how Katniss (the older of the two) is talking to and taking care of Primrose (the younger character), we can tell that this bond is very strong and that these two characters may be sisters.
The Game’s Manager – This character was the very first to be introduced. This may be because it shows and suggests to the audience that he is the man with all the power. He controls the run of the games. In fact, throughout most of the film, the camera angle of this character is the same: it is usually a low angle shot which proves that he has the power until things go against him later on, then the camera shot switches to high angles shots to show that he is no longer in full power of the goings on in the film.
Gale - Firstly, we don’t see him to meet this character. Instead, we hear his voice whilst Katniss is hunting. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t introduce himself, Katniss introduces him – “Damn you, Gale!” after this piece of dialogue, he appears from the woodland and we have met this character. Again, we can also see a bond between these two characters. A bond that is very strong that is like very good and close friends. We can tell this by the way Gale looks after Katniss’ family when she’s away and by the way they mess around in the woods and have a laugh together.
Peeta – Peeta is the last character that is introduced in the beginning of this film. The first time we meet him is when h is called up a the male tribute. Due to the flashbacks used and experienced by Katniss, the audience can tell that in the past, something has happened between these two characters which could make them form some kind of relationship sometime in the rest of the film.
The plot was explained in two ways. One of which was right at the start of the movie. Lines of text appeared which gives the audience a background story of what is now the modern world in the narrative. It explains to the viewers about the history before this story and it also tells that the ‘Hunger Games’ is what will happen in this story. So right from the out set, the film has introduced the potential plot of the story.The other way in which the plot and genre have been introduced is by the promo video that the spokeswoman has used to explain what happens in the Hunger Games to not only the characters in front of her but to the audience as well. From this video, the viewers will be able to infer that the genre of this movie is going to be action-packed with slight adventure too. Not to mention, they will be informed that there will be killing taking place at some point in the story. As well as the genre being explained in the promo video, the plot is somewhat introduced too. The video shows a victory and informs people that killing is a common event to take place so the audience can guess that this is what is going to happen in this storyline.
Introducing the plot
Textual AnalysisThe first cross cut technique is used right at the start: from the interview to the district. As well as a cross cut, this is also an establishing shot – it is setting the scene for where the next part is going to be held. Along with these two techniques is a horrifying child’s scream. This hints to the audience that something bad is happening in the village that this establishing shot is being taken of
The text ‘District 12’ is also helping set the scene as it tells the viewers where this location is.
“It’s your first year, Prim. Your name’s only been in there once. They’re not going to pick you.” This line is blatantly suggesting to the audience that something will happen to the younger character otherwise this film wouldn’t be as entertaining at the beginning than it is now. Something is bound to go wrong if a line like that has been said.
Throughout this one-to-one scene between Katniss and Primrose, the camera seems to stay fairly level. There is no noticeable high on this shot. This may be symbolising that both characters are at an equal vulnerability level and both are in the same bad and threatening situation as each other. If the camera were to be angle higher/lower, this may give the impression that one of these characters are better than the other or hold more authority. Usually the oldest sibling has more authority but since they are both in the same situation, they are equal and they both need each other the same amount.
When Katniss is running through the town, the music edited into this seems to give the audience the picture that the town in which she lives in is very poor and in a bad state. Whilst this music is played, the camera is showing the viewers the town and the state it has been left in. These two features go really well together as the music adds levels of emotion to the very sad and miserable looking villagers. It may be designed to get a sympathetic reaction from the audience.
Another good camera technique used in the beginning of The Hunger Games is an eye-line match. This eye-line match is focusing firstly on Katniss. This is because when we see what she is looking at, we know exactly who’s shoes we’re in. Then the camera focuses on the other object that the character is looking at, watching etc… the eye-line match is pro-longer as the character looks at the object even more before the audience get to see what it is for themselves. This will add to the suspense created in this scene as the audience do not know what she is looking at. Also the fact that the deer is hidden behind a tree and the audience can only see it’s head is so the viewer gets interested and intrigued to what it is and will want to know what the whole animal looks like. It just adds to the interesting and mysterious levels of the scene.
Later on, when the characters Katniss and Gale have met up, there is a huge gust of wind. This quickly and instantly gives the audience the impression that something sinister and/or bad will happen. The sound of the wind whistling assists the sinister feel of this short part of the scene. The wind gusts lasts a good 3 or 4 seconds whilst it becomes stronger and the level of tension rises. This may be done to keep the viewers on the edge of their seat as they have no clue to what is going to happen next. When both the characters and the audience see what has made the big gust of wind, the camera then cuts back to the character’s reaction to this big flying object. This will then tell the audience that this big thing isn’t good and that it is possibly terrifying the characters.
As well as eye-line matches, there has also been some master and establishing shots to help set the scene and to explain and show the audience where the following scene is taking place. From the establishing shot, we can tell that the next scene will be held in that derelict building. The following master shot too, sets the scene and shows the viewers where the scene is being held. In this one master shot, we can see a lot of poor people selling their goods that look to be of a poor quality: also relating to the condition in which the village is in.
Once Katniss has returned to her home and her little sister, she gives her a small pin that she obtained from the market in the previous scene. She says “As long as you have it, nothing bad will happen to you.” Once again this is a line that strongly suggests to the audience that something bad IS going to happen otherwise the script writers would not of put the line in because nothing bad happening may make the film boring.
In the following scene, a depth of field shot has been used on the children of District 12 and the Capitol soldiers. The soldier is the person in focus because he is the more important and more dominant figure in this scene. The children are blurred out in the background as they hold no power as they are the ones being chosen to theoretically die in the Hunger Games’ arena.
A series of high angle shots and aerial shots have been taken in this scene. The reason for this is to show the audience that the children in this district are almost trapped by bigger people (the Capitol Soldiers). The high angle shots make the children look so small which is what they are and feel like to the soldiers and other people in different districts.
As well as high angle shots, there are also low angle shots. Usually of the soldiers. This is to promote and tell the viewers that these are the men with power over the other people in the scene. The low angle used makes them look big and threatening.
To also prove to the audience that the soldiers are to be feared is when you see Primrose’s reaction to when she sees them. You can instantly tell is very frightened by them. This gives the viewers a clue that these are very scary and dangerous people. Which also adds to the level of authority that these characters have.
My penultimate analytical point from the beginning of the film the is the music when both Hunger Games contestants are called. (Katniss and Peeta). This music seems to be very sad and haunting to possibly once again make the audience feel sympathetic for these two characters. The track played fits in well with the situation as it emphasises the fact that this isn’t a good event in the story.
Linking to this is my final point. During the music and camera shots of Peeta walking up to the stage and standing beside the two other characters, a different device has been used to illustrate a bigger/wider shot. This device was a track/dolly. The camera-men have used this to move from one character to another to show the audience their initial reaction to the situation they are both in. As well as showing the reader the character's reactions, it also could suggest what they both feel about this. For example, Peeta is looking terrified whilst Katniss is completely the opposite and looking very calm,. This could tell the viewers something about the characters and could hint what they will be like in the rest of the film.