Thursday, March 8, 2012

What March 5th - March 8th Means To Me: Getting Excited

Every so often, a movie is released that stiffens the nipples to such an extent that it sends me to internet fan pages to consume information quicker than a fat kid eats chicken nuggets.  Then, just when I think I can't take anymore, my inner child screams, "MUST HAVE MUST HAVE MUST HAVE MOAR NOW" 

On that note, I just bought my advanced tickets for The Hunger Games.

Yep, that's me.

Now, millions of people worldwide have read The Hunger Games, but an astonishing amount of my friends have not only not read it, but have no clue what it's even about.  When I mention the bestselling trilogy, the following conversation is generally a variation of this:

Me: Have you read The Hunger Games?
Person: Is that about Vampires?
Me: No.
Person: I heard it was about vampires.
Me: It's not about vampires.
Person: I don't like vampires.

Me either...good thing ITS NOT ABOUT VAMPIRES.

For those who don't know, here's how wiki summarizes The Hunger Games:

The Hunger Games is a young adult novel written by Suzanne Collins. It was originally published in hardcover on September 14, 2008, by Scholastic.[1] It is written in first person and introduces sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where the countries of North America once existed. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, holds absolute power over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle in which only one person can survive.

Great, now that that is established, allow me to say I'm not the world's biggest Hunger Games fan.  I found much of the second book to be a waste, and think the third book is actually just bad.  But that shouldn't take away the power and importance of the first book.  Though the story is set in a dystopian future, and many questions remain about the history of the future (that sounds weird), the story accurately taps into our current societal fears and intolerance.  Ideas of totalitarianism and oppression are hardly new, but for me, the story expertly portrays two points of view that hit on something that I've both written about and that truly scares me: the inability of a human to truly put themselves in another's shoes.  Within the world of the Hunger Games, an entire population of people see the tributes (contestants within the games) as widgets for their entertainment.  Through the pomp of the games (which is handled like we would the Super Bowl...times ten), we understand the characters as chess pieces.  Though the fans of the games know the contestants are human, and do care for them while they are in the games, there is true a disconnect between seeing them as pieces in a game and understanding them to be human.  But since the actual story is told from the point of view of one of the contestants, we also get an inside look of how it feels to be a pawn in someone else's game.  The helplessness, the fear.  The understanding that the people in charge don't actually care and will ultimately forget about you as quickly as they loved you, except the price for their fleeting entertainment is your life.  I believe the book expertly captures both these aspects to life and puts them on display in an amazingly created futuristic world that is as interesting as it is brutal.  For the characters in the game, it's a no-win situation which features a glimmer of hope that keeps motivation alive, no matter how bleak it is. 

After reading the book, my first thought was that a film version of it would ultimately be challenging considering we'd need to see the story from both Katniss's point of view, and also the point of view of the audience watching the games.  But I also knew that there were some amazing scenes and moments that can truly be brought to life on film.  The world Collins has created is nuanced, endless, memorable and I personally can't wait for the chance to see it....which is why I bought advanced tickets.


1 comment:

  1. "Person" seems quite wise. I LOVE this "person".

    Person has a name!!!!!!!!