The Hunger Games books are shelved in the Young Adult section, where most novels featuring female protagonists are typically thought of as for women. (Oh wait, that’s everywhere in the bookstore.) The demographic for The Hunger Games would appear to be teen girls, yet Katniss’s story has resonated with people of diverse ages and genders.
We live in a society that encourages little boys to reject all that is girly, which includes stories featuring girl characters. Boys are raised to identify only with male protagonists. The fact that boys are so captivated by Katniss’s story, and that men are invested enough to shell out for the books and the movie tickets, prove that women’s stories can and do resonate with (and make money off of) male readers and movie-goers.
Which brings me to…
The Bad is the flip-side of The Good: It’s 2012, and it’s a big deal when a megahit sci-fi action star is a woman.
Remember that movie, Alien? Released in 1979? I wasn’t even a twinkle in my mother’s uterus. Thirty-three years later, it’s still considered noteworthy when people who don’t identify as women are able identify with and root for female protagonists.
First of all, we are the Capitol. The Hunger Games is all up on tabloids and glossies alike. At Barnes & Noble you’ll find a Hunger Games Tribute Guide and The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. You can pick up Capitol
Colors Colours nail polish at Hot Topic.
Regarding the film itself:
In my eyes, the film was an incredibly faithful adaptation. No, it wasn’t the book, but it couldn’t be the book; film is a different medium entirely. I felt that, for the most part, the movie really did captured the spirit of its source material.
Here’s the thing: The entire Hunger Games series is a story fundamentally about the awfulness of violence. The film has to depict violence. However, to remain accessible to its PG-13 demographic, filmmakers can’t engage with gore full on, Battle Royale style.
The shaky cam seems to me to be the perfect cinematic compromise – show the violence in such a chaos of camera work that the audience experiences the violence without really seeing it. No, the viewer can’t always tell who is strangling whom, which Tribute is winning. Nor can the reader tell how events will unfold; that’s why we all devoured the books so quickly – we didn’t know what was going to happen next, and we couldn’t wait to find out.
Here’s what I find really interesting:
The Capitol isn’t shaky, and the Games are mostly only shaky during acts of violence. But the opening scenes in District 12 were shaky and abruptly edited for a sustained period of time. How did the camera work impact your viewing?
And how much did you love Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci? Did you like the film’s representation of the Capitol and its denizens? What did you think of the cut to District 11? Did you cry when Prim tucked her duck tail back into her skirt before stepping forward at the reaping? (I DID.)
Readers of the book and viewers of the film: TALK TO ME ABOUT THE HUNGER GAMES!