If you work with teens, have a teen or have interacted with a teen at your local fast food restaurant in the last few years, you’ve probably heard about The Hunger Games.
For those of you who have been living without cable, internet or human interaction since 2012, here is a brief synopsis. The Hunger Games is a series of 3 novels and is the latest science fiction series that has captured the minds of teens and young adults. In 2012 the popular novels were turned into a series of movies starring Jennifer Lawrence as the main character.
The first film, The Hunger Games, was released in March of 2012 and brought in $152.5 million it’s opening weekend. The second film in the series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released in November of 2013 and set records for the biggest November opening weekend and biggest three and five-day Thanksgiving box-office totals.
The third installment in the series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, debuted last weekend (November 21st, 2014) to the excitement of teens everywhere. I have to admit, I am a little excited to see it as well.
In an effort to gain a better understanding of why tweens and teens enjoy The Hunger Games series, I asked several tween/teens who saw the movie opening weekend to provide me with a brief review.
I asked each tween/teen to answer the following questions:
- On a scale of 1 to 5 Mockinjay pins (A key symbol in the books and movies) how would she rate the movie overall?
- General reaction to the movie: Did they enjoy it, how does it fit/flow with the other films?
- Why did they like the movie specifically compared to other movies?
- Why is the movie appealing to teens specifically and any other thoughts they might want to share.
Being tweens and teens, not all of them answered each of the questions. Go figure. I made basic changes to grammar but overall left the comments as said. Never-the-less, here is what they had to say about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.
Ava age 12: I would rate the movie a 5 out of 5 Mockingjay Pins. I really enjoyed it, although it was a little bit violent. I thought that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the best but Mockingjay part 1 was my 2nd favorite. The movie is appealing to teens because of all the romance and drama. Also the action. Other thoughts: the end with Peeta scared me ALOT I almost had a heart attack but afterwards I was okay.
Daniel age 16: I would give it a 4 out of 5 Mockingjay Pins. I enjoyed it and it flowed relatively well with the other movies in the series. It pretty well parallel with everything that happened in the book. Although it’s a stretch, I believe the reason why these movies are so popular is because in some instances, the events in the movie could really occur.
Lily age 12 : I would rate MockingJay a Five out of Five. I would rate it this because it was very intense and filled with action, drama, and romance. I really enjoyed seeing this movie, as it was a little different from the other movies since it was the first in the series that didn’t involve a hunger games competition. But still fit very well with the other movies in the series.
One thing that I liked about this movie was how different they made the characters. Everyone in the movie is a whole new person compared to the previous movies. This is because most of the characters are mad about all of the terrible things that the capital is doing, and those emotions are turning them into a whole new person. This movie is appealing to teens because of the cliff hangers and intensity levels that it beholds. Also because of the classic romance that every teen can’t get enough of.
Kaylee age 13: Based on the contextual features of the movie and book, on a scale 1 to 5 worth of Mockingjay Pins, I give the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 a 4. I liked the fact that its different from the first two movies in the saga, where there are no games involved. I also liked how every event was spaced out nicely, and that the movie interacted with more than the main people involved in the story. The movie was sewn together well with the book, although you can’t tell what parts and pieces weren’t incorporated without Mockingjay part 2.
The one thing that riles me is the lack of action. There was quite a lot, but all the speeches and videos interfered with it, and hoaxed myself to think differently. This movie would suit teens because the books were written for YA readers, and the footage would grasp mostly teen girls, as the main character being a strong, daring girl. Overall, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1 was a modest movie, and is a desirable movie to watch.
Morgan 12: I give The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 4.5 pins. It was fantastic and I think it flowed very well with the other books/movies. I liked it compared to the other movies in the series because it followed the plot of the book very well and it had a lot of action. I think it appeals to teens specifically because it’s like dystopian with romance and also it’s like rebellious and things like that, and I just thought overall it was very good.
Closing Thoughts: Often teens gravitate to certain movies or music because it expresses feelings they are having but don’t know how to vocalize yet. If your teen is talking about The Hunger Games or another movie, watch it with them, take them to see it or rent it yourself and then engage in a conversation with them about why they liked the movie. What aspects of the plot they felt related to their life or what characters in the movie they saw themselves as. You could be offered a great glimpse into your teenagers life and how they see the world and how they feel the world views them.
If you have a teen who saw the movie or is seeing the movie and they would like to share their review based on the questions above, feel free to connect with me via email or twitter (@daverozman).