To the Editor:
This past Saturday I went to see "Hunger Games" at the Capitol Theater in Montpelier. Aside from being a "film buff", I wanted to see what this trilogy which all the kids at school seem to be reading, was all about. The movie was a sell-out the night before and twice on Saturday.
My attention was immediately caught, by the huge crowd exiting the viewing before mine. They were exiting quickly, and paradoxically quietly, for such a movie with big hype. One young girl headed straight for the restroom, muttering, "That was the worst movie I've ever seen." A group of older teen boys gathered in an alcove, seemingly at a loss for words, then began critiquing the movie in terms of camera angles, editing, etc. No one seemed to be smiling their approval of this third-best debut since "Harry Potter" and "The Dark Knight." No exciting jabbering or palpable energy.
About a fourth of the way into the movie, I began to feel uncomfortable. As the Hunger Games commenced, the level and content of the violence was actually shocking. I began to hear young girls crying softly, as if they were ashamed of their reaction, and trying to remain unnoticed. I sensed the audience sitting stiffly in their seats, as if magnetized by the screen. I believe that if I had been sitting there with my own daughters when they were young, I would have gotten up and left the theater with them. But no one left during the entire 142 minutes; it seemed no one moved a muscle. Now, lest you think me a prude or having a weak stomach, or a censoring type mother, let me say I love film. Since age eight, I have kept spiral notebooks filled with every movie I've ever seen. "Hunger Games" was No. 1770. I am a writer, have studied film and psychology, have worked with creative young children, gifted teens and volunteered as a mentor to young adult inmates. I love to read.