I just saw The Hunger Games this afternoon at a Moms (Mums) and Bubs showing and without giving anything away, I felt compelled to share my particular love for the film's Mise-en-scène. What exactly is Mise-en-scène? Pretty much, it is a word that encompasses a film's visual or design aspects.
From the very start, the costumery and styling used in The Hunger Games brings so much life and emotion to the story. This becomes especially apparent in the contrast between the people from the districts and those from the Capitol. The best example of this is seen in the main character, Katniss and that of Effie Trinket, though I am mostly focusing on Effie.
Effie and the others from the Capitol look exaggerated, garish, plastic, and decaying, which captures their inhumane and animal-like nature. This seems so fitting for a group of people who are entertained by watching youth fight to the death as an olympic sport.
In addition to the Mise-en-scène, the cinematography also builds the characters of The Hunger Games. Effie Trinket is often filmed in close up shots which makes her appear looming, ruthless, and larger than life.
This similar style was also used in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho to capture the characters that were meant to be obviously intimidating or posed a threat to Marion, such as Tom Cassidy and the police officer.
I haven't read The Hunger Games books yet but it is always interesting to see how filmmakers translate the emotion and style of a book to the screen. It is also amazing how such attention to detail can either make or break the story. For those of you who have seen or plan to see The Hunger Games, I would love to hear your thoughts on the film.