Connecting With The Hunger Game
Reading the book before the movie is a mantra that many people subscribe to. Fortunately, I went to see The Hunger Games with absolutely no preconceived ideas of the plot, the characters or the message of the film and was delighted with my movie going experience as I had no expectations. The connection was amazing and I hope you will try and see the movie soon and talk about it's deeper meaning. Ponder what "games" might be going on between buyers, sellers and real estate agents. Basically, in life what games are being played in your individual experience and how do you survive?
The Hunger Games is a box office phenomenon raking in more than three hundred-sixty million dollars and the numbers are still rising. The only reason my husband and I went to see this movie came down to the fact we did not want to see any of the other 10 choices playing at our local theater. I posted a question on facebook as to what movie to see on date day and three out of ten responses said "The Hunger Games." Spring is not the season for "great movies" so the time is right to attract movie goers that might NEVER have gone to see this YA or Young Adult film. As a vintage player in this 21 century world I initially heard about The Hunger Games as a mention in broadcasting at the 2012 Academy Awards. By the name I did not think it was something I would like to see. I must have been under a rock in the YA world since the book series started in 2008 by best selling author, Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games book trilogy includes "The Hunger Games, Catching Fire (film to be released November 2013) and Mocking Jay." Over 23 million copies are in print in the United States alone and the series has developed a massive global following. It was on the New York Times Best seller list more than 160 consecutive weeks. The books are published by Scholastic Press internet portal and book club for the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books. Visions from my past came to my mind when I discovered Scholastic Press published the trilogy. The light came on ONLY after watching the film this was a "Harry Potter, Twilight" reader/viewer and I had just been caught up in the latest buzz. For the record, I was a Harry Potter fan before he was cool.
Before going to the movie the title made me uncomfortable because reality shows are of no interest to me, at all. After watching Survivor the 1st season I decided that teaching viewers, including children of all ages to lie, create false alliances, misrepresent and manipulate people with premeditation and malice for a million dollars was something that I did not need to waste my time with. Consider "The Bachelor" are you kidding me? It is hard to fathom the beautiful girls going on National TV to be humiliated and duped in front of the world. To think you are going to find your soul mate in six weeks and have it be a lasting relationship is really the definition of having your "light bulb burnt out™." What can I say about the Housewives series, if you have ever watched one episode you will know that money and fame creates deranged behavior beyond comprehension. The stage had been set for me to watch The Hunger Games with an open mind, except for the dislike of reality show and get whatever message there was for me to absorb. A steno note pad is a standard issue for going to the movies however, I forgot to bring it and all I had in my purse was an envelope which I opened to remind myself of important quotes and thoughts. As the plot thickened I had to tear open my popcorn bag to continue with my note taking so I could remember what stood out during the first viewing of the film.
Suzanne Collins wrote this book for Young Adults however the message is for ALL mankind. Her background as a screen play writer made the transition into film appear seamless. The movie gets a two thumbs up from me as I connected today, Roman behavior and Easter dots all from one Hunger survival game. I only cried three times and left wanting to know "the rest of the story."
The film is set in a "1984" dystopian type atmosphere in the country of Panem after a terrible war on the futuristic ruins of North America. The Hunger Games is the story of 24 children known as "tributes" selected through a lottery system known as the Reaping, to represent their District. The game includes slaughtering one another in a terrifying government sponsored reality TV competition which was considered a national media event. The games are a twisted punishment for a past uprising of the people and an ongoing intimidation tactic by the government.
The story deals with brutality,and mortality of young characters from 12 districts. The selection process starts the saga and the viewer is riveted to the seat the entire length of the film leaving exhausted from the journey.
The winning tribute or survivor and his/her corresponding district is then rewarded handsomely with food and plenty. The purpose of the Hunger Games is to provide entertainment for the Capitol and to serve as a warning to the Districts to remind them of the Capitol's power and lack of remorse for the past uprising.
The Hunger Games explores issues of life, love, survival, death, and corruption. Watching teenagers in peril and starvation is uncomfortable to say the least but to see the heroism and fight come alive for a cause is thrilling as the plot unfolds.
The story line depicts the games of life through the ages comparing the Roman gladiators to the "tributes." We see those who have been highly trained their entire lives to survive as participants, be pitted against those who only have innate survival instincts to pull upon as their resources to make it through. There are impossible choices that have to be made in the arena against life and love.
Let the games begin…. The theme through the film repeats
“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.
As the tributes prepare for their Roman gladiator type experience they are wined and dined in luxury they have never experienced. Could it be an analogy to the "last supper?" Twenty-three of the children will die so the welcome oratory exclaims "Tributes we welcome you and we solute you for your courage and sacrifice." This was not a choice for any of the children it was for the glory of those in power and for entertainment and intimidation to stop future uprisings. If everyone stopped watching there would be no games so it appears the public holds to key to the success or failure of the sentiment. The game is designed and manipulated to create desire to watch the killing and how it is played. Woody Harrelson plays Haymitch, a former winner 20 year ago from the poorest Distric 12. He tells Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, the bakers son from District 12 as they eat, he should "embrace the probability of your eminent death." Haymith tells Katniss Everdeen, the girl tribute from District 12, played by Jennifer Lawrence, she should try and get people to like her so she can have sponsors who will send life lines to her in the field as the war rages. The concept of creating an image or doing something that was not honest was foreign to Katniss but she listens and responds to do what she needed to do to try and survive with poise. After spending time with Katniss, her mentor, Haymith tells her to be herself because she is so strong.
Katniss and Peeta the two tributes from District 12 discuss who they are and how they want to play the game to survive They know that they do not want the game to turn them into something they are not. This starts the beginning of an alliance and maybe more. Katniss has left her widowed Mother, and 12 year old sister at home with her soul mate and hunting friend Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth.
From the Capitol's standpoint the games at the arena were partly staged to provide a distraction for the growing, underemployed and hunger of the people, just like the ancient Roman working class and the gladiators. Focusing on the games kept the public from rioting in the street. In the film we see similar Roman games of gladiator vs gladiator and even gladiator vs computer generated animals to keep the public from thinking about what is really going on all around them and the devastation of the country.
As the games progress and the alliances are formed there appears to be a support sentiment that the President did not like. The oppressors state that "the only thing stronger than fear is HOPE." so they decide to change the rules of the game to manipulate the crowd and their feelings about the game. They want to give the public something to cheer for, an underdog. The games are scripted just like the reality TV shows of today and the rules change when the sentiment moves. When watching he movie you can decide if the change in engagement created hope and was that good for the oppressor or bad?
Watching the movie the question arises how anyone can see entertainment and joy from watching people kill each other. Think about the "mind games" that go on in life and relationships in general. Children of divorce with parents deceiving each other for custody, business alliances to capture market share, couples trying to justify behavior and just quite possibly buyers and sellers trying to influence real estate agents. This film makes one think about the games people play under many circumstance and then how distracted we get about injustice and cruelty that takes place with these games.
The Hunger games very possibly could awaken the viewing public and take away the numb feeling about what is going on in the world today by the themes that are present in the film.
- Family Love and dedication to helping those that are in emotional need.
- Hunger, physical and mental
- Love triangle confusion
- Rules of engagement and living with change
- Fear and Hope
- Knowing who you are and staying true to that ideal
- Doing uncomfortable things we don't want to do
- Romeo and Juliet devotion
- Judas complex
- External control of our lives
- Standing out
- Creating a plan for survival aka strategy
- Taking the high road
- Working with others, creating a team
Wouldn't it be great if every person and family that watched this film discussed the 14 or more ideas expressed in the movie or the book and applied it to their own individual lives? I believe that The Hunger games is possibly an Academy award winning film which is going to make a difference in the way people think about what they do and how they act.
This film shares how to act strategically to possibly combat established power structures, how to take the high ground, stay true to your beliefs and position yourself to survive. The controversial topics showing an imperfect world brings the movie goers to a place of questioning and a desire for more. I encourage you to see the film, discuss it with your family and friends and make a difference.
History is history so looking back at the Roman times and parables in the Bible do you think there could be a connection between the people back then and the crowd in Panem?
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