The film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel, “The Hunger Games”, has been passed in the UK by the British Board of Film Classification with a 12A rating, after seven seconds of trims were made – it would have been passed uncut with a 15 rating, but the distributor evidently blanched at that idea.
I can’t help but feel that this is a curious decision. And a moderately reprehensible one.
“The Hunger Games” is not a book that I would feel comfortable about my nephews and nieces reading – they’re right in the age demographic for this story and I imagine this is a film on their ‘must-see’ list. The novel is a violent, tense, and disturbing read – one best suited to kids old enough to appreciate the ideas which lie (far) beneath the rather glossy and slightly empty-headed surface. I can’t imagine for a second that the film eschews any of the teen and tween violence inherent in the premise of the story and might actually amp up some of the combat sequences purely by virtue of the action being shown rather than described.
I have to hold my hands up and say that I’m not impartial, as I found the book trite beyond belief – it’s “Battle Royale”, only crapulent and devoid of the satire of that story and aimed instead exclusively at Hollister wearing teens who are naive enough to find the ‘Romeo and Juliet with head-shots’ schtick of Collins’ story compelling.
As to the distributor making trims to the film to ensure that your desired audience of uncritical 12-year-old kids can spend their allowances on it – that’s kind of a dick move, if you’ll pardon my French. Does anybody involved in the film have the integrity to make a film and stand behind the decisions that they made in shooting and editing it or is it purely a financial vehicle to look good on Lionsgate’s first quarter financials?