Into the Arena: the Hunger Games

 

After seeing the review of the book by Geek Crash Course,  I decided to investigate.  As usual, it was a priority to read the book before I went to see the movie.  With not a lot  of downtime between school, work and homework, and the fact that I like my sleep, it took me a bit longer than usual to finish.

As it stands, it’s totally worth it, both reading the book and seeing the movie.

First the Book:

The dystopian dictatorship taking place after a rebellion that engulfed and essentially, destroyed the United States, and probably Canada and Mexico, to the point where the borders have fallen, and the resulting nation of Panem spans North America.  Introduced to the hardship of the average person, we are enthralled with this image of ourselves, that if an uprising of the masses, would not only not fix the problems we have, but make them worse, is a startling, and shuddering realism about the underbelly that exists within our country.  We are forced to face a situation that has not arisen in this country, but is seen in others.

Katniss is a reliable narrator, a 16-year old girl forced to grow up before her time, making her cynical and jaded, past the point of the loss of innocence in the story, essentially taking over as breadwinner and head of household after her father died.  Her journey through the Hunger Games, is both heartening and terrifying, bloody and brutal.  I can’t wait to pick up the other two books.

Second the Movie:

Nicely stylized, but nicely adapted.  The script was nicely cut  to movie format, probably because the author of the book was deeply entrenched with the writing conversion, so there was no Percy Jackson Syndrome here.  The director walked a very fine line between the violence of the book, and the PG-13 rating of the movie, forcing fast cuts, possibly providing some people with motion sickness, due to the constant movement and whipping around in order to not have to focus to closely on the bloodier, more violent deaths in the story.

Overall, still enjoyable and authentic to the source material, but probably not a movie for small children, considering the violence of the plot.  I would definitely go see it again, But I would still recommend reading the book first, as there were things cut from the movie that might leave viewers a little confused.

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