Hunger Games Movie: First in an Exciting Trilogy
by Raven Clabough: YouTube
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Imagine a dark
world in which most of North America is destroyed and what remains
is ruled by a totalitarian regime that represses any urge toward
uprising by pitting children to fight against each other to the
death. That is the premise of Suzanne Collins best-selling
Hunger Games, the first of a trilogy. Both the novel and
the film have been highly popular among middle- and high-school
students, as the plot delves into the world of tyranny and the mind
of a heroine who is motivated by her survival instinct and her desire
to help those in need, even at her own peril.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has grown accustomed to oppression
in District 12 of Panem, the post-apocalyptic remains of North America.
Big Brother, which governs from the Capitol, has ensured that the
people in the 12 districts that comprise Panem have just enough
resources to survive, but no more than that, forcing Katniss to
develop her own resourcefulness. Left without a father, who perished
in a mine explosion, Katniss must take charge of her family, caring
for both her mother and younger sister, as her mother retreats into
her own world of misery, scarcely surfacing long enough to care
for her children.
of Panem is a frightening one. What was once North America has succumbed
to a number of disasters ranging from droughts and storms
to fires and brutal, unending wars leaving in its wake just
13 districts, ruled by a shining Capitol, which was
to assure peace and prosperity for its people. When it became clear
that the Capitol was not fulfilling its utopian promises, however,
the people in the districts rose up. All 13 districts were defeated,
and one was obliterated altogether.
for the so-called Dark Days the days of the uprising
the regime imposes the Hunger Games on the people of the
remaining 12 districts through the Treaty of Treason. Once a year,
each district is forced to provide one girl and one boy, between
the ages of 12 and 18, picked at random. These young people, called
the "Tributes," are imprisoned in an outdoor arena where
they are to fight each other to the death, using weapons and the
land's resources. The last Tribute left standing is the victor,
and the district from which that Tribute comes is rewarded the following
year with more resources than are typically rationed by the regime.
Both the novel
and the film begin with the "Day of Reaping," a term coined
for the day of the year in which the Tributes are picked. Katniss
is fairly certain that her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields),
whom Katniss adores more than anyone else, is safe from being selected,
as she is just 12 and therefore her name has appeared in the selection
jar only once. The number of times a childs name appears in
the jar depends on ones age, and whether or not they are willing
to enter their names more than once for increased rations. As protective
as Katniss is of her sister, she would never permit her to enter
her name additional times for more rations. Katniss has fully accepted
the heavy burden of feeding her family, and dares not place that
weight on her sister or her fragile mother.
the odds, Prim is chosen, Katniss courageously makes the sacrifice
and takes her sisters place as Tribute.
As if the realization
that her life will likely end in a brutal death within the next
few days was not difficult enough, Katniss is disconcerted to learn
that her fellow Tribute from District 12 is none other than Peeta
(Josh Hutcherson), a boy with whom Katniss has had a brief but complicated
history. It will be difficult for Katniss to set that aside and
view Peeta as just another obstacle to be conquered in order to
win the Hunger Games and return home to her family.
fully capable and impressive in her warrior-like ability to survive,
must compete against some worthy contenders. And in some cases,
she must decide whether her need to survive is enough to overcome
her nurturing nature which seems to have no place in the Hunger
be the victor and bring pride, as well as increased resources, to
the people of District 12? Thats for the readers and moviegoers
to know, but for those on the fence, its worth noting that
both the novel and the film are well worth the time to find out.
Much of the
excitement of Hunger Games rests in the games themselves,
which comprise the second half of both novel and film. It is here
where one facet of Katniss heroism is clear. She evolves into
a virtual warrior, with remarkable agility and resourcefulness,
as well as prowess with bow and arrow.
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© 2012 The New American