Saturday, April 07, 2012

Should You Let Your Children Watch Hunger Games?

When my 11 year old daughter ask that I take her to watch Hunger Games, I said "okay". And then, I started to read some online reviews that mentioned how it was not very good for kids to watch the show. The idea of children killing children didn't sit well with them. So it got me thinking if I really should take my daughter to go watch it.

Well, to cut the story short, I did. I figured if it was really violent and graphic, I would be there to close her eyes. But the movie didn't have much violence. The only gruesome part was when the Game started, and some of the kids were fighting for supplies and weapons at the Cornucopia. Even then, it wasn't terrible like blood splattering everywhere or limbs getting chopped off. Actually, the movie is much more toned down than the book. For example, when Katniss went to get the bow and arrow from the dead girl, the book describes melting flesh but in the movie, she just pries it from the dead girl's fingers.

So, should you let your children watch the Hunger Games? To me, it depends...
  • My daughter read the trilogy already. She was excited to see how the characters in her head would come alive on the big screen. She already knew what the show was about. Heck, she's already read Mockingjay, so she already knows how everything turns out. She was also curious to see how well the movie would follow the storyline. So, in my case, it wasn't a matter of "should she watch kids killing kids" cause she already read it. Now, you might be thinking, "how could you let such a young girl read such atrocity?" Well, for one thing, when I let her read the book, I didn't know what it was about. I read the book too, after she was done, and it didn't horrify me. Actually, I didn't think of it as horrific until it was mentioned by some reviewers. After all, it's fiction. Anyway, I wanted to see what my girl got out of the book. So I asked her "What did you get out of the book? What is it about the book that makes it interesting to you?" She answered "I admire Katniss' strength. She is very resourceful and doesn't give up." From her answer I knew that she was focusing on the right thing. And that's why I took her to see the movie.

    So, do take your child to see the movie if they understand what the story is about. Yes, the Hunger Games is about children having to kill other children to emerge as winner. BUT, there really is more to it than that. It is also about survival, love, rebellion, resilience, right and wrong. Maybe it would help if you talk about the story before the show. It makes a difference if you read the book first.
  • How mature is your child? As a parent, you know your children the best. Do you think they are mature enough to understand the show?
The way I see it, young children (maybe below 10 years old) will not quite enjoy the show, unless they've read the book. I took my 9 year old boy to the show with me and he was just intrigued by Katniss' bow and arrow skills. But I don't think he quite got the show like my eldest daughter.

So, if you're worried about the violence, it's really not that bad. But I think some maturity is needed to fully appreciate the show.

1 comment:

Don't go without saying something. I would love to read your comments. BUT no junk comments please.