A Tease and a Salesman

 Originally Written by Anthony Fertino

Official Katniss

The teaser trailer released for the Hunger Games film was a rather precarious move, considering how far away the theatrical release is—and then some to reveal footage from the fireball sequence, a rather iconic sequence from the source material and indeed, equally ironic for Katniss of course, to nearly end up literally on fire.

Unfortunately, the action of the tease is somewhat dull, a blunt montage of logo with a convoluted trailer format that we see every time we go to the movies. Now, the scene won’t look like that. It still needs to go through the full process of editing and the like. The continuity was clearly scattered, but combined to create the tease.

However, the narration is just plain frustrating. Among the cast, the most fitting is our lead, Jennifer Lawrence. She not only looks the part, but judging from the tease can be Katniss. I cannot say the same for the two plastic, cookie-cutter actors designated to play Peeta and Gale. They actually look a tad similar. Regardless, whoever acted that narration (it sadly appears to be from another scene, out of context from the fireball sequence) sounds completely artificial. I didn’t believe a word of it. Which takes me from the tease, to the salesman. 


The studios. For a long time now, it’s been only, and I cannot stress the word only enough, about the money. These studios know how to say profit and revenue in every world language. They could care less about the tonal fidelity of a film to the novel. They are blind, and this teaser is a massive example of it.

The number one priority for a film studio is to sell. Especially these days, of course. And that means, the love triangle of the novels must be dramatically inflated—which has already been confirmed. So, this equally absurd and silly trend to form “teams” for either main character’s love affections can swell. Why? Because Twilight did it, and the studios laughed all the way to the bank.

The studios are absolutely positive they’ve found a niche, an algorithm for accumulating income—but only because audiences have been funding it. We can complain all we want about remakes and sequels and the single-handed destruction of today’s cinema on novels with substance, but ultimately, those theatres fill up somehow.

So, sadly, what audiences want isn’t what the Hunger Games film has the potential to be—thanks to preceding figures.  You see, the studios aren’t selling the book; they’re selling the movie. Which means set strategies to sell must be utilized. You can’t please everyone, so they must sell to the majority.

To maintain complete fidelity to the novel, which concerns a survival death-match amongst children, would require too high a rating.  The themes are too dark, and the grittiness too violent to sell to the film’s target demographic. All we Hunger Games fans can do is hope for an equally mature story, if not in illustration, in design.

Finally, I can only say in closing that parading the tease around in the middle of production was foolish—and clearly not an attempt to satisfy viewers so much as to stoke the fire for the payoff.