In 2012, the popular book series The Hunger Games made its big debut in the world of film. The movie was an outstanding hit for the film industry. One of the many reasons why it is loved by many is because of its certain unique qualities that were incorporated into the film. The film is visually brilliant and contrasts with other films in this aspect. The choice in color, costume and make-up designs, and the beautiful location of the film all contribute to the visual distinction, which acts as a contribution to the overall tone of the movie.
The distinctive choice in color acted as a huge contributing factor to the visual style in the film. The colors were either very dark, neutral, and depressing, or big, bold, and confident. The reason for the huge contrast in color and overall tone here, is because the 12 districts live in very poor conditions, due to their earlier uprisings against the Capitol. The 12 districts display a very dark and depressing tone with the neutral and faded colored clothing they wear on a daily basis. The capitol had punished them for their rebellious behavior by starting the hunger games and forcing one teenage boy and girl from each district to compete for their life in these games. The Capitol, on the other hand, is very wealthy and full of classy colors. Everyone from the Capitol has colorful items ranging anywhere from hair to clothing. The moment you walk into the capitol, your eyes are immediately overwhelmed and blinded by the bold and cheerful colors. An accurate example of the contrasting visual style is when Effie is at the reaping to choose the new tributes for the 74th annual hunger games. Everyone in District 12 is dressed in very light, faded, depressing colors, while Effie has a bright pink skirt, pink jacket, and white hair with a big pink bow. Effie’s best dressed style is immensely different from those living in District 12. The people in District 12 are struggling for survival and can barely afford to feed themselves, yet alone dress similar to people that live in the Capitol. District 12 tends to wear a lot of neutral colors such as white, light blue, brown/tan, and grey, which portrays the overall mood of their harsh living environment. Also, when walking into the Capitol, the environment is completely different. Everything is new and pristine and glowing with color, as opposed to the district’s old, wooden structures.
Another unique characteristic that this movie consists of when portraying its visual style, is the costume and make-up design. In nearly every scene involving the Capitol, the people living there are usually dressed nice. The visual style in this movie, particularly in the Capitol seems to be very different and contain some futuristic qualities. The way Seneca Crane has his beard shaped and formed is not what you would be expecting to walk around and see in today’s society. The overall look of many of the characters and what they are wearing throughout the movie leads me to believe that the creators of the movie took a very futuristic approach in the fashion sense. This visual creativity is increased when taking into consideration the amount of make-up that everyone from the capitol wears, including guys, and comparing it to how Katniss, in District 12, does not even wear any until she becomes a tribute and is therefore an iconic figure representing the Capitol. The amount of make-up and the color of the make-up that some of the characters wear is absolutely astonishing. Again, the characters are caked in make-up to address their bold and confident personalities, accompanied by their futuristic styled clothing. These two factors also contribute to setting a tone that represents confidence and the capitol’s bold personalities.
The beautiful location of where the scenes are taking place is yet another factor when looking at the visual style represented in this film. The wilderness and forest areas represent a quiet, peaceful feeling. When Katniss and Gale are together before the reaping, they are gazing upon the beautiful scenery that District 12 possesses to calm their worries. The directors’ goal was to create a dome (the place where the hunger games take place) that was beautiful, yet terrorizing at the same time. They do this by filming the beautiful scenery in the middle of the day and filming specific scenes at night, while adding threatening features and challenges that occur throughout the games. The breathtaking beauty of the scenes is cancelled out by the upcoming fears that the tributes will eventually have to face. This use of visual style is very beneficial to creating different moods at different points of the movie.
Gary Ross, the director of The Hunger Games, did a fantastic job enhancing the visual style that represents the film. There are so many different factors to worry about when making a production, especially when there is a book to follow and is used by many viewers to critique the movie. Many viewers of the movie loved the production because of its futuristic contrast between District 12 (and all the districts) and the bold qualities of the Capitol. The film is visually brilliant and distinctive because of the choice in bold and bland colors, costume and make-up designs, and the beautiful choice in film location, which gave the final outcome of the overall tone in the movie.