When my daughter and I were in Ontario last week we went to see The Hunger Games …in the movie theatre…together! Now most of you may say whatever, but wait a minute.
This is a HUGE step forward because…
- my daughter actually chose to be seen with me – okay so it was out of town, but it still counts
- we saw a movie we both wanted to see sitting beside each other – I didn’t have to sit at the back of the theatre and pretend we didn’t know each other
- we shared our impressions of the movie afterwards together – we had an intelligent and reasonable conversation
The only problem was… The Hunger Games itself.Way back in the dark ages when I was 16 going on 17, my favourite movie was The Sound of Music and well-thumbed books included the Narnia series, Anne of Green Gables series and James Bond paperbacks. Seems that times have changed – just a wee bit. Good thing I knew what to expect. Since I read the book a couple of years ago, I knew when to cover my eyes AND ears in the movie, and when to crawl under the seat. So I was surprised to see a few parents in the theatre with young children (under 12). Wouldn’t you think kids that young would have nightmares after watching teens try to rip each other apart?! Yep, call me a class A wimp!
There was an added interest factor for both of us in that one of the actors, Alexander Ludwig (Cato), attended the same school as my daughter did a few years ago. And his parents are a fixture around town. But hey, Alexander was very good, as was the movie, for what it was…a violent, dystopian world where poverty, oppression and starvation are the norm. Do not go to see if you want a feel-good happy story.
What was intriguing though was the reaction of my daughter. She enjoyed the movie but was rather disgruntled because she didn’t think it was bloody and gory enough; she thought the violence in the book was toned down way too much. When my son and I pointed out the rationale – PG13 rating means a much larger audience than an R rating – she understood but did not agree. So what kind of blood-thirsty child have I raised?
When asked why she didn’t find the book or movie as disturbing as I did, she responded,
“Mom, I’m the generation that’s been raised on violent computer and video games. I’m the generation that’s been raised on 24 hour war on CNN. I’m the generation that’s watched people being blown to bits in the movies.This book is no big deal.”
Hmmm, now I really am disturbed…or I would be if this wasn’t her school knapsack.