Happy Hunger GamesMarch 23, 2012
The reasons to love The Hunger Games and the fact that it is a cultural phenomenon, worthy of record-breaking midnight showings, are many. For starters, Katniss Everdeen is one of the best female protagonists I’ve ever read, especially in the Twilight era. She’s the anti-Bella — she’s smart, driven, and self-possessed, and she cares about things beyond her own happiness.
In The Hunger Games, the remarkably faithful movie adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of the same name, Jennifer Lawrence brings Katniss to life in all her tenacious, ass-kicking glory, while director Gary Ross creates the Capitol of my imagination. Its vapid citizens with Rod Roddy-inspired outfits watch and applaud from their crystal-chandeliered mansions as 24 children are dragged from their homes and forced to fight to the death.
The story is an unflinching critique of war, consumerism, and class, and those themes successfully made it onto the big screen. If you’re a tribute, you’re fighting for your chance to join the 1 percent, but I’m not giving anything away by saying that personal fame and fortune would never satisfy Katniss Everdeen, no matter how much she wishes it could.
For now, we only get the first part of her story, with hints of what’s to come. For fans, it’s a satisfying glimpse of the post-apocalyptic world of Panem. Would the movie appeal to anyone who hasn’t read the books? That I don’t know. I think the more complex and satisfying story is found in the book and that that story informed my understanding and enjoyment of the movie. But if you’re not writing a blog for work about it, maybe you won’t think as much about these themes as I did. Either way, I think you should go ahead and read the books.