Friday, April 19, 2013

Why I Jumped on the Hunger Games Bandwagon

REPOSTED FROM MARCH 2012
"If there really are only seven original plots in the world, it's odd that boy meets girl is always mentioned, and society goes bad and attacks the good guy never is," writes Megan Whalen Turner of Publisher's Weekly. "Yet we have Fahrenheit 451,The GiverThe House of the Scorpion-and now, following a long tradition of Brave New Worlds,The Hunger Games."
The Hunger Games saga and craze has been brewing for the last several months and its movie has hit the big screen. People Magazine's Mar. 23 cover features the ever so mystical Katniss Everdeen's, played by Jennifer Lawrence, the main character in this movie. The headline reads: "The Stars, The Story, The Sensation." School Library Journal said that author Suzanne Collins's characters are "completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing." 
I asked a friend, "Why is there such an excitement for all these vampire movies ... these characters played by wolves ... these future world fantasy movies?" He responded, "Michael, back in the 1930's when America was going through depression. Fantasy movies had a strong influence. Things like Vampire "trap-kits" went on for sale. It was a way for people to escape the idea of depression and live in a fantasy world, a way to escape the harsh reality of depression and be distracted with something unreal." 
I became intrigued.
I had recently become a fan of Twilight, even though my interest in anything related to fantasy was minimal. The AP reported that The Hunger Games ticket sales raked in $19.7 million on its first night, the seventh-best midnight total ever. Ahead of this sensation were six movies from the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" series.
Now, I too, am now eager to see the movie.
This viewpoint stimulated my thinking about how today, Americans might also be going through a mild depression. As a result, perhaps we are drawn to the magic and excitement of fairytales. Such stories offer us a momentary respite from the many harsh realities that affect our lives and constantly flash across media screens. Maybe that is why that People magazine cover caught my eye. 
The People article talks about the young love story that is similar to Twilight and about the bravery from the character Katniss who "is expected to kill her own teammate." The series resonates with a an wide audience that savors reality shows including 'Survivor' and 'American Gladiator.' The narrative is entertaining, and incredibly disturbing at the same time. 
Finally, I've been officially converted to the Hunger Games scene. 

1 comment:

rlnolen said...

The Hunger Games is a great book and the movie isn't bad, but I think you might be disappointed in The Twilight Series. The dialogue, the dialogue!