If moviegoers were asked a simple question

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If moviegoers were asked a simple question, “Which Sci-Fi movie do you love best?”
they are most likely to spit out a diversity of replies as well as their justification on why is it the
best. Sci-fi, which is short for science fiction has been a favorable movie genre by many movie
junkies all over the world mainly because it is futuristic and overwhelmingly impressive that it
would leave most people at the edge of their seat. For this essay, I will be comparing two
blockbuster movies – Divergent and The Hunger Games. In Divergent, the protagonist, Tris
learns that she is a divergent and unfortunately does not fit in any factions. After discovering that
the leader of the faction Erudite – Jeanine is plotting to destroy divergents because she sees them
as a threat, Tris along with her allies plots a revenge to go against her. On the contrary, the movie
The Hunger Games directed by Gary Ross projects the life of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen from
District 12, who volunteers herself for the 74th Hunger Games along with another reaper, Peeta
Mellark. Together, they both are mentored under the only living victor from District 12, Mr.
Haymitch Abernathy. Katniss and Peeta being the only ones left alive in the end decided to defy
the Capitol by threatening to commit suicide but are later stopped by a voice from the speakers.
While different directors and authors separate these movies, needless to say they both
share various similarities.
One out of many similarities that Divergent and The Hunger Games possess is that both
films have a female protagonist that emerges as someone who conveys the value – bravery. In
the movie ‘Divergent’, Dauntless leader - Eric questions the new Dauntless initiates on who
would like to volunteer as the first jumper. The only way for Dauntless initiates to enter
Dauntless headquarters is by jumping from a high roof into a dark hole that looks like it has an
infinite depth. Tris who wanted to show whatshe was made of voluntarily jumped down first and
risked her life despite not knowing what was underneath, whether there is something to support
her when she lands or not. As for the movie ‘The Hunger Games’, Katniss showed a sense of
bravery at the reaping. Initially, her younger sister, Primrose was chosen for reaping to
participate in the 74th Hunger Games. But Katniss was extremely terrified that her sister might
not make it alive after the game and so without hesitation Katniss raised her hand and screamed,
“I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!” Thus, it clearly shows that both protagonists are courageous
and are able brave it out regardless of the situation they are in.
Furthermore, the citizens for both movies are divided into groups. Both of their societies
live in a fictitious place whereby living in fear and in a dehumanizing way is habitual. In
Divergent, the society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a
particular virtue. For instance, Candor is for the honest who are straight-forwarded and speaks
the truth, Abnegation is for the selfless who prioritizes other people’s needs, Dauntless is for the
brave who are ready to endure pain and face danger, Amity is for those who emphasizes on
peace, and Erudite is for the ones who value knowledge and logic. However, in the movie The
Hunger Games, the society is divided into 13 districts. District 1 to District 13 holds its own
specific capability and specialty from specializing luxury items, weapons, electronics, fishing,
electric power, transportation, lumber and paper, textiles, grain, livestock, agriculture, mining
as well as nuclear technology respectively. For both movies, members of different divisions
rarely converse with others who come from another division mainly because they are all
distinguished and isolated from each other.
Other than that, it is actually pretty evident that both movies share similar superb
cinematography. Cinematography plays a major role in all films and filmmakers employ a
number of techniques to help build specific emotions within the audience. In the movie
‘Divergent’ and ‘The Hunger Games’, Alwin H. Kuchler and Tom Stern directed the
cinematography respectively. Based on my observation, these two brilliant cinematographers did
an exceptional job with the camera movement for both movies. The camera seldom stops moving
due to the many scenes of Tris running in ‘Divergent’ and Katniss running in ‘The Hunger
Games’ at high speed. Those scenes were filmed so smoothly with fluidity that it successfully
allowed an observer to feel the adrenaline rush with their heart beating simultaneously with the
character at a rapid pace. Also, instead of making the characters follow the camera, it was done
the other way round. This non-stop sliding created the tension between the characters and the
viewers to bring out the liveliness of the moment, and that is what a good movie is all about.
In the words of Antoine Predock, “The body moves throughspace every day, and in architecture
in cities that can be orchestrated. Not in a dictatorial fashion, but in a way of creating options,
open-ended sort of personal itineraries within a building. And I see that as akin to
cinematography or choreography, where episodic movement, episodic moments, occur in dance
and film.”
Moreover, both ‘Divergent’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ share the same futuristic settings
and surroundings. For ‘Divergent’, serums are used to induce illusions that are known as
simulations. These serums are injected with a syringe and serves as a purpose to generate fear,
wrench out truths, assess personality traits and enslave minds while performing specific tests.
This unique serum is futuristic due to the fact that it does not exist in our present world, and
because psychology would normally be used as a solution to fulfill the same purpose of the
serum. Whereas in ‘The Hunger Games’, the game arena is surrounded by a strong force field
and is also controlled by The Gamemakers. The Gamemakers designed the arena with a force
field at every corner to prevent any reaper from breaking free. Not only that, they control the
looks of the scenery, the amount of animals to insert in the arena, the climate and weather in the
arena, and so on via a hi-tech control system. This system is something that our present world’s
technology sector has not achieve, thus it is considered futuristic because of its ability to control
an object indirectly via an electronic machine or device.
In a nutshell, it is safe to say that science fiction put viewers in an anticipated state and
make them thrilled of the unknown. Although most movies that are under the sci-fi genre are
pictured in an imaginative world that is far from what reality looks like, it is still ultimately about
us. I think that is why most movie enthusiasts are really drawn to these types of movies because
it makes them picture themselves in a whole new dimension, what more when watching it with
3-D glasses. As quoted by Steven Spielberg, “Remember, science fiction’s always been the kind
of first level alert to think about things to come. It’s easier for an audience to take warnings from
sci-fi without feeling that we’re preaching to them. Every science-fiction movie I have ever
seen, any one that’s worth its weight in celluloid, warns us about things that ultimately come
true.”
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