Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie and Teaching

Having a teen-age daughter really changes what I read.

I balked thoroughly at reading The Hunger Games when it first came out, but she won: I read it and mostly enjoyed it. I posted an entry on the third book. I really liked the books. But the movie was a no-brainer. With the lead actor from Winter's Bone, Jennifer Laurence, and with the mockingjay sound, I was hooked. So early last week, we trekked to the theater, doing our best to avoid the spring-break crowds by going to a smaller theater. OMG, that is a great movie. I loved the character development, and I loved how the screenwriters lifted up what was most important from the book. My mental images while reading the book appeared on the screen, similar and completely believable. I was living The Games.

One thread caught me the most and held on: two participants from each of the 12 “Districts” (areas where people live but are governed by the Capital) are selected and must fight for their lives in The Hunger Games. At one point during the Hunger Games, Rue, the youngest player in the 74th Annual Games, is killed. Katniss, the lead character and also a participant in the Games, weeps at such a loss. This girl had actually saved Katniss’ life earlier, solidifying a natural connection between the two. Katniss is unable to save hers though she tries valiantly. After a poignant burial with flowers, Katniss, knowing she is being filmed, salutes Rue’s district in a statement of solidarity.

I loved the movie! The folks who made the decisions on what to include in the movie hit the nail on the head. They included just what was important in the movie. Try it and see what you think. But first, read the book: see if you aren't swallowed by it!

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