Happy Hunger Games

March 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.

Elizabeth Bolton By:   |   March 23, 2012

2 Comments

  1. Avatar Peg says:

    I think the movie portrayed Katniss well. Not all women are emotional wrecks & still lead very satisfying & fulfilling lives. She is not unattached; she’s learned how to compartmentalize for her survival & to minimize the pain at the moment. I loved both Katnisses….book/movie. I enjoyed them. Lots of fodder to discuss!!!

  2. Avatar Stephanie says:

    I agree that Katniss is impressive because she isn’t the stereotypical female character who is caught up in finding love. However, she is almost too far in the other direction, completely unattached from her emotions. I think there is a way to find a better balance between love, family, and friendships in a non-obsessive way that other books and movies do. I’m not sure Katniss does it though. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books! And I think she is a great role model for young girls, but she’s not necessarily ideal.

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