This Friday, along with thousands of enthusiastic fans across the nation, I will be seated in a movie theatre waiting to watch the most anticipated book-to-movie adaptation since â€œDeathly Hallowsâ€ (sorry â€œTwilightâ€ fans, but â€œBreaking Dawnâ€ doesnâ€™t register on my geek-out radar).
Thatâ€™s rightâ€” itâ€™s the â€œHunger Games.â€ And I am beyond excited.
I wish there were some way I could properly show my excitement â€“â€“ like how, for the â€œHarry Potterâ€ films, I always wore a robe and carried a wand (and not for a midnight showing, oh no, heavy black robe at the 11 a.m. matinee. Thatâ€™s devotion). Or how I painted my face like the Jedi Luminara Unduli for the final â€œStar Warsâ€ film (and if you know who that is, kudos to you, my fellow nerd).
Unfortunately, I donâ€™t even own a â€œHunger Gamesâ€ t-shirt. Yet. Though I am currently accepting donations for the Bayleyâ€™s-a-total-dork fund. Lack of costume aside, however, I am so ready for the â€œHunger Games.â€ But first of all, let me clarify something. When Iâ€™m talking about the â€œHunger Games,â€ Iâ€™m talking about the â€œHunger Gamesâ€ alone. â€œCatching Fireâ€ and â€œMockingjay,â€ I know you exist, but you just didnâ€™t fulfill my expectations set by your predecessor. Unlike with my other fandoms (and trust me, there are many), when I think of the â€œHunger Games,â€ I think of just that first book.
I have plenty of feelings for the other two, but those will just have to wait. So yes, the â€œHunger Games.â€ Why am I so excited? What is so spectacular about a book thatâ€™s all about teenagers killing each other? Well, when you put it that way, anything sounds bad. Put it that way, â€œStar Warsâ€ is about a son trying to kill his father. Yes, the â€œHunger Gamesâ€ is about teenagers fighting to the death, but thereâ€™s more to it. Itâ€™s a story in which thereâ€™s food falling from the sky as rewards. Itâ€™s a story that shows you can still be a hero, even if you have a stupid name like Katniss or Peeta.
And, if nothing else, itâ€™s motivation to get off your butt and start working out, because if that future comes to pass, and weâ€™re forced to fight to the death and survive on tree bark and mud, those movie-watching skills Iâ€™ve spent so long developing really wonâ€™t be much use.
As just about everyone knows by now, the â€œHunger Gamesâ€ movie is coming out this Friday. I assume everyone knows this because almost everyone Iâ€™ve talked to seems ecstatic about it.
And why not? Itâ€™s an action-packed thriller. Itâ€™s got explosions, a dystopia and romance. Most who have read the books agree that theyâ€™re well-suited for a cinematic adaptation â€” and might even be better for it.
While I agree that theyâ€™ll be decent movies, I canâ€™t say I understand the extreme enthusiasm behind the hype. Maybe itâ€™s because the two sequels ruined the series for me, but at best, the first movie evokes only the same level of excitement I have for the end of class, or realizing I have gum in my bag.
I doubt the movie will have problems like Katniss putting her boots on before her pants as per the book, but Iâ€™ll be surprised if the movie forgoes the plot altogether in favor of a less heavy-handed message on morality. Hey, Mrs. Collins, this may come as a surprise to you, but no one actually thinks itâ€™s okay to watch children fight to the death for entertainment.
Okay, so she doesnâ€™t mean it literally. And sometimes we do rely on othersâ€™ suffering for entertainment. Why the hell else would we have shows like â€œHellâ€™s Kitchen?â€* But I donâ€™t think getting yelled at by an angry man who clearly hates food can be equated to being drafted into a pseudo-futuristic gladiatorial death match.
Hereâ€™s where I get into spoiler territory.
Iâ€™m not a fan of the characters, either. Primrose seems formulaic and designed purely to garner sympathy and drive the plot. Cinnaâ€™s character doesnâ€™t make much sense; you could understand that someone might want specific contestants to win and do what they can to make that happen, but youâ€™re also supposed to like him for being a nice person. Katniss certainly does, and considering heâ€™s another step on the track to her potential death, thatâ€™s just weird. Then you factor in Peeta, and I just quit. Thereâ€™s no rationalizing his character.
Again, Iâ€™m sure the movie will be interesting. And the book itâ€™s based off of does entertain. But Iâ€™m not sure it deserves the excitement it has engendered.
*Iâ€™ve never watched â€œHellâ€™s Kitchen,â€ but I have seen advertisements for it and it looks awful.