The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins’ book The Hunger Games is wildly popular, and now fans can watch the movie adaptation. Along with its popularity has come a discussion of whether or not it’s too violent, since a large part of the plot deals with children being forced to kill each other in a dystopian world.

The main plot of The Hunger Games, both the book and the movie, centers on Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old who volunteers to enter the Games in place of her twelve-year-old sister. Two tributes, a boy and a girl, are chosen from each district and they have to fight each other until there is only one survivor. While the adaptation is fundamentally true to the book, there are important things left out or glossed over, such as the internal conflict the main characters go through when faced with their part in the Games. However, the violence is treated with relative taste and discretion.

The Hunger Games is an interesting change from the Twilight movies (some people have compared the two, based on the popularity of both) which certainly have violent moments, plus a lack of character development. Another plus for The Hunger Games is Jennifer Lawrence, who shines as Katniss–she’s fierce, vulnerable, believable, and conflicted. Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, on the other hand, struggles to show a range of emotions without over-acting.

The violence in The Hunger Games does bother some people, but it’s not a new phenomenon. It seems that a book like Lord of the Flies–which deals with the violence children perpetrate toward each other when unsupervised–must not be required reading anymore, which it should be. Sometimes the strongest deterrent to violent behavior is an accurate illustration of where violent behavior takes the perpetrator. So at the least, The Hunger Games can serve as a way to engage young people in a discussion of violence, totalitarian rule, and morality.

If you don’t like dystopian stories or futuristic science-fiction, or if you prefer when girls wear corsets and have a fainting couch nearby, you probably won’t like this movie. If you’re interested in seeing how teenagers have to deal with a situation they’re forced into, one they feel they have no way out of, you will probably enjoy this movie. And it’s gotten people talking about some interesting issues!

7 Responses

  1. Pingback : The Hunger Games | Let's talk about movies

  2. The Hunger Games was awesome. I didn’t know anything about them, but was having a bad day Thursday and saw there was a midnight show, so I decided to go with my boyfriend. By Sunday night I had finished the first book after picking them all up Friday.

    I definitely recommend!

  3. superchargedhobbit

    I finished reading the first book about 30 minutes before watching the midnight showing of the movie so everything from the book was really fresh in my mind. Yes, they left some things out, changed some things around, and even added one scene that doesn’t come about in the story until book # 2–I bought the second book the day after I watched the movie! 🙂 I’m definately happy that I read the book before watching the movie because, as Laurel said, there is alot of important inner conflict that is handled better in the book, naturally. However, as far as adaptations go, I thought the movie was well done–in all aspects–and I highly recommend it to teenagers and adults alike!

  4. On further reflection, the one thing they changed that bothered me a little bit was the part from the past when Peeta throws some bread to Katniss. In the movie, it seems that he makes the decision to help her out after he’s already burned the bread, but in the book seems that he burns the bread on purpose so that he’ll be able to give her some. It’s an interesting moment that illustrates Peeta’s character, and I don’t know why they changed it.

  5. superchargedhobbit

    Maybe it’s because I read the books in so close a time-frame of watching the movie, but that aspect of the film didn’t really phase me–the characters and their motivations were still so vivid in my mind. So there’s a part of me that thinks the makers of the film didn’t so much change that part about Peeta’s character as they most likely expected that the viewer has read the books so they know his character already.

    Of course, as it tends to go with these things, the book is better. 🙂 That’s why I’m telling everyone that asks me about the movie to try to read the books first! They are short, easy-to-read, and entertaining. And this is coming from someone who is not necessarily a fast reader & has 3 jobs!!!

  6. Logan Adams

    Some thoughts from watching this movie:

    1- I so very much preferred it to Twilight.

    2- It felt very rushed — like they were trying to cram as much into the story as possible from the book, and they tried too hard, and then a bunch of stuff got squeezed out.

    3- At the end of the showing, a bunch of teenage girls screamed “BEST MOVIE EVER” in unison.

  7. Wow. Hyper fans can be a bit ridiculous, can’t they? It was cute when I saw a couple guys come to Return of the King dressed as Frodo and Sam, but screaming at the end (or during) the movie? That’s going too far. Although the weeping and sighing while I was watching Breaking Dawn Part 1 was much harder to take. And I have to agree with you 100%, Logan, on your point number one. So much better than Twilight. 🙂

Comments are closed.