I’ve been hearing a lot about the The Hunger Games movie coming out on March 23, 2012, which is based on a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. Friends kept telling me I needed to read this book so I finally broke down and found a copy to read before the movie hits the theaters. Now, having read it, I can see why it was recommended to me. I think this book has the potential to become a classic in the YA (Young Adult) market.
The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel set in an area that used to be Appalachia — in the book, still one of the poorest districts in Panem, the nation that used to be the United States. The districts that waged war on the Capitol lost the battle and have since been locked down by the nation’s rulers. One way to remind each district of their subjugation is that they are forced to compete in the annual Hunger Games competition. Each district is required to send two of their children, one boy and one girl, to fight in the games until only 1 of the total 24 contestants is left alive — something akin to the ancient Romans’ gladiator games but set in an arena that covers a large area that forces the children to survive a fight not just their enemies but the elements as well.
When Katniss’ little sister is chosen to be a contestant, this 16-year-old girl volunteers to take her place. Enter Peeta, the boy chosen from Katniss’ district. Peeta is unique because rather than adopting the cold attitude of competition that the others have, he is intent on holding on to his humanity, even if he loses. He holds this attitude not only to maintain self-respect but also to prove that those in authority don’t own him. Katniss finds this vulnerability hard to accept in the face of being forced into an event that has become a pop culture mainstay of their society, something that the entire nation follows on reality television in great detail.
The reason I ask if the movie will be able to live up to the book is because the original work written by Suzanne Collins combines so well themes of communism, personal freedom (or lack thereof), defiance, and most of all, the struggles that exist inside the emotions and psyche of the main character. Traditionally, I find that movies have trouble accurately depicting a character’s inner struggles nearly as well as an author can in the pages of a book. Here one can explore these emotions and thoughts in great detail.
That said, I am greatly intrigued by the movie trailer and wonder if in this case the screenwriters and directors may have done just that. We’ll never know, however, until we get to see the movie. When that time comes I’ll be curious to hear what y’all have to say. I give Hunger Games 4 stars out of 5.
For now, though, what do you expect or hope to see from the movie? I’d love to hear from you! Just leave me a comment below.
The official movie trailer is posted at: http://www.thehungergamesmovie.com
You can find the author, Suzanne Collins, at http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/