Don't you dare wish me a "Happy Hunger Games"


Fans lined up outside, hours before the premiere of the highly anticipated The Hunger Games movie at Cinerama in Seattle, WA. March 22nd 2012. (Joshua Lewis)

By Travis Mayfield

I’m a fan of the Hunger Games.  But after seeing the movie last night I’m a little disheartened by it.

Well, maybe not disheartened by the movie.  No, I believe I’m actually disappointed and disturbed by the reaction from some fans to the movie.

First it was the complaints about the jarring and jerky camera work at the beginning of the film.  I heard whispers from others in the theater saying it was making them sick, that it needed to stop soon or they’d have to step out. 

Suddenly the steady cams arrived just as the kids starting brutally slaughtering each other and the complaints stopped.  Apparently child-on-child murder is less sickening than a few hand-held camera shots?

Then there were the gasps and squeals from different corners of the theater when dueling male suitors appeared.  Instantly we knew who was on #TeamGale and who was on #TeamPeeta.

Sadly for me was the realization that there were such teams in the first place. 

At least some of the team members must have read the books right? 

So they must be aware author Suzanne Collins is the anti-Stephanie Meyer right?  They have to know that artificial rivalry and romances based on on-screen crushes is literally scripted into the work, don’t they?

Finally the truly heartbreaking moment came when the conclusion of the 74th Annual Hunger Games was announced on screen and more than half of the audience clapped.

At that moment I actually looked around the theater in the dark trying to determine if anyone else was sharing my revulsion.

Did the audience watch the same movie I had just watched?  Were they in the restroom each time we saw the blood-thirsty adults in Capitol City cheering for the teen game contestants to disembowel each other?  Or could they not hear those crucial bits of dialogue because the unwrapping of Sour Patch Kid and Red Vine packaging was simply too loud?

I loved these books and I thought this movie was brilliantly accomplished.  I unequivocally recommend both to nearly everyone.

Still from now on when I make this recommendation I will silently hope that when that person has finished reading or watching they’ll actually get it.

Because ‘it’ is actually pretty important stuff.

And if anyone wishes me a "Happy Hunger Games" with anything other than sarcasm, I might scream.

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