Hunger Games opens Friday

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Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 7:24pm

Whenever a book, especially an epic book, is adapted into a movie, questions arrive. Will all the important scenes be in the movie? Will the art, beauty, and feel of the book be portrayed as the author wishes? Sadly this is not always possible in a book to movie adaptation. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a few words may also be worth a thousand pictures.

The Hunger Games centers around Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old living in a futuristic America that has been ravaged and changed by war. America, now known as Panem, has been broken into 13 districts, though there are only 12 remaining.

She lives in District 12, which mines coal for all of Panem. District 12 is a poor town where miners die in accidents and the townspeople die of starvation often. Every year The Capital, a very rich and all-powerful center, hosts the Hunger Games. Every year a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district chosen to represent and hopefully bring honor to their district.

The Hunger Games are a battle to the death from 24 contestants to one. On Choosing Day, Everdeen’s little sister, precious Prim, who is only 12 is chosen. Not wanting her sister to witness any more horrors than she already has, Everdeen volunteers in her place. It is very rare for anyone from District 12 to volunteer. The boy “tribute” is Peeta Mellark. Though his family is not wealthy, they have been well fed because his father is a baker. Everdeen and her mother and sister often went hungry. Her father died in a mining accident, leaving a distraught mother and two young girls. Everdeen had to learn how to apply the hunting skills her father taught her to care for her family.

Though it is a battle to the death, the Hunger Games is more about the show and drama. Who can impress the judges and win over the crowds. Who can use the skills they have to bring the best show and win?

There are several districts that prepare, basically from birth, their children to fight in the Hunger Games. Though this is technically illegal, it happens. These tributes are nicknamed career tributes. More often than not, it is the career tributes that are victorious. Because of this, Everdeen and Peeta’s advisor, Haymitch Abernathy, the only other victor from District 12, tells them they must play up anything and everything they have.

In an interview, Peeta reveals that he is in love with Everdeen. And this is in front of the whole Capital and everyone watching from their districts. Though Everdeen is more tough girl tomboy than anything else, Haymitch advises her to play up the innocent air-headed pretty girl. He advises her to play up the love-struck couple for the crowd. Anything unexpected can be used as an advantage. Peeta and Everdeen both impress the judges with surprising talents.

On the day of the Hunger Games chaos is almost immediate. Eleven of the 24 tributes are killed. The career tributes guard the stash of supplies from the other tributes. After a couple of days Everdeen finds a tribute named Rue, a 12-year-old girl that reminds her of her sister. They form an alliance.

One of the career tributes cruelly kills Rue when Everdeen is on a mission for supplies. She comes back to kill the tribute and comfort Rue. She pays a true mark of respect to Rue and vows to win the Hunger Games.

Peeta was previously injured and Everdeen does not know how close to death he is. An announcement booms across the playing field. If they are the last two standing, two tributes from the same district can both win. Everdeen immediately screams Peeta’s name. She goes in search of him and promises to nurse him back to health. There are only a few tributes left and though the fighting has come to a lull, the drama and romance between Everdeen and Peeta can almost be cut with a knife.

Will their apparent love save them in the end? Will they die together, in each other’s arms as the star-crossed lovers Panem has grown to know? To the people of the Capital the Hunger Games is exciting and the event of the year. To people of impoverished Districts like Everdeen and Peeta’s, it is a cruel and vile event that they must endure every year.

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