I cannot wait until the weekend as I’m dragging The Hublet (no doubt kicking and screaming) to watch The Hunger Games: a film based on the first in a trilogy of books (1. The Hunger Games, 2. Catching Fire, 3. Mockingjay) Suzanne Collins, also author of The Underland Chronicles series of books. Although Suzanne writes books for children, with The Hunger Games she manages to weave a wonderful story that adults can enjoy and relate to.
The film is essentially a milder Battle Royale story set in North America, now known as Panem, in an apocalypse-wracked world. The land of North America that remains post-apocalypse is dividing into 13 Districts with the Capitol, the country’s seat of power, claiming the bulk of the produce from the other 12 Districts. This turns the Capitol into a hedonistic, opulent orgy of excess, where pleasure and entertainment rules. By comparison, the residents of the other 12 Districts live on the poverty line.
Due to an attempted revolution nearly 75-years earlier, the Capitol run their world with an iron fist, keeping residents within their respective Districts, controlling any technology people have access to and limiting the food available to the people, forcing them to rely on the Capitol for everything. In an attempt to remind the 12 Districts as to why revolution is such a bad idea, shortly after it happened the Capitol established The Hunger Games, an annual event where a boy and a girl from each Districts is forced to enter a huge arena and fight to the death until only 1 person is left standing.
The Hunger Games serve as a grim reminder of the Capitols superiority to all the inhabitants of Panem, as well as providing a much celebrated source of entertainment to the Capitol’s pleasure-loving inhabitants. In an effort to ensure as enjoyable a show as possible, all contestants are given survival training beforehand, are allowed the chance to win powerful, rich sponsors from among the Capitol’s inhabitants – which can in turn provide much needed advantages later on during the game. To keep things exciting the Hunger Game controllers are able to manipulate the weather within the arena, as well as introduce variously genetically engineered animals into the arena, in order to force combatants to move from one place to another at the controllers whim.
The story – aimed at children – follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen who bravely volunteers herself in her younger sisters place upon learning of her selection.
The trilogy of books make for a really gripping read with some very strong concepts that borrow heavily from ancient mythology and past civilizations, and I can’t wait to see if the film lives up to the story. I also hope that, if successful, they turn the remaining 2 books into films as I’ve had enough with book/film adaptions that disappear after the first film hits cinemas.
If you can, try to read the book The Hunger Games before the film, then watch it for yourself to see how true you feel it sticks to the books plot.