Music can play a large part in the overall enjoyment of films and television shows. It is both well-planned and integrated in a manner that adds spirit to the action on the screen. Otherwise it is ill-matched and turns out to be inappropriate for the plot and other elements that comprise the production of the media piece. In the case of this year’s blockbuster The Hunger Games, the soundtrack adds a great deal of value to the film as a whole, which in turn makes it extremely popular amongst audiences across the world. It is not easy to fit the idea of the film, let alone to the one that is based upon a highly successful book series.
First, the music in the opening half hour of the film is somber and reflects the severity of the situation in the Districts, particularly in District Twelve where the heroine of the story is from. It not only helps to feel the roots of the district’s inhabitants, which is inferred to be what was formerly known as the Appalachian Mountains; but it also gives an audience a kind of emotional awareness that the ordeal of the annual Reaping (selection of the Hunger Games contestants) is weighing heavily upon everyone’s minds. It shows the audience how sad everyone is to know that Katniss, the movie’s heroine, volunteered to take her sister’s place in the contest. But later a slight change in tempo shows that there is a spark of hope that she could survive and return home.
Second, the music gives a feeling of hope during the training and parade of contestants in the capital. The music during the initial parade is similar to that one they could hear during the introduction of Roman Gladiator games. It gives the audience a sense of pride and hope that the heroine will triumph in the face of adversity. Also, the ferocity and barbarism of the Hunger Games contestants killing one another are shown through the music accompanying these horrific scenes of violence. The audience is thrown into feelings of shock, sadness or anger according to a situation on the screen. Anger rises when you see how a government justifies forcing children fighting to the death as punishment for the alleged sins of previous generations.
Finally, when the heroine and her partner from her district win the contest, the music again changes to convey the feelings of hope and possible dissatisfaction with the current government. In short, music is an effective way to relay various emotions that are being played out on the screen by the characters. It in no way detracts the film. Additionally, music can also leave important clues for the audience to know there could be a continuation of the story in a future movie. The Hunger Games demonstrates high quality usage of all these techniques that added value to the overall effectiveness of the film.