The Hunger Games


Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Directed by Gary Ross
Rating: A

Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take the place of her young sister in a deadly game where out of 24 tributes, one is the victor.

The Hunger Games were created to keep the 12 districts of Panem from rebelling like District 13 had. After the uprising, District 13 fell and two tributes from each district are chosen to participate in a kill-or-be-killed game. Katniss (Lawrence) takes her sister’s place and sparks a revolution of her own by her bold actions throughout the game.

Coming from District 12, a poor and starving place, Katniss and Peeta (Hutcherson) are looked down upon by the rich societies of the Capitol and a few districts. Even though they are supposed to be enemies, Katniss and Peeta help each other out to survive the games without becoming ruthless killers. They move viewers (because it’s a televised event) with their friendship and blossoming romance.

Katniss is a strong protagonist and a role model. She volunteers because she knows how fierce the games are. While she has skills that could help her survive, her sister has been sheltered their whole lives. She and Peeta refuse to kill anyone, even though every other tribute is out to kill them. At one point, she looks out for a young girl who could be like her sister. It gives everyone watching her a tribute to root for.

By the 74th Hunger Games, everyone from the districts are pretty used to the idea of watching kids kill each other for sport and to keep in line. Talk of changing these rituals are expressed as early as the beginning of the movie, when Katniss’ best friend, Gale, mentions he doesn’t want to watch the games this year. He suggests to Katniss that if everyone in the 12 districts boycotted watching the games, the tradition would have to change. For the poor districts like 10, 11, and 12, people group around for the reaping of tributes like a funeral procession. Yet in the richer districts, children are trained to survive and kill in the games.

Katniss becomes a beacon of hope, which threatens the submissive nature of the districts. She also embodies the female heroine young girls can look up to. Katniss can take care of herself and others in dangerous situations. Lawrence does a fantastic job portraying the heroine. She knows exactly how to capture the emotions Katniss feels, and the awkwardness Katniss expresses as she becomes a star in the limelight of the Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games is not a light, happy movie but it has such spirit. There are some intense moments without getting too gory during the game, and it grows in suspense as the tributes are knocked down from 24 to 3. This movie marks the beginning to a long journey for Katniss, and she continues to be that symbol of hope other districts need.

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