The Hunger Games – what is it? With The Hunger Games movie, based on the best selling The Hunger Games novel by Suzanne Collins, is coming out March 23, 2012, many people are asking what exactly are The Hunger Games?
What do you need to know about The Hunger Games so you’re ready for the release of The Hunger Games movie?
North America is no more
Apparently North America was destroyed by some sort of global nuclear war or major climatic change that occurred somewhere between a hundred and a thousand years ago. Out of the ashes rose the nation of Panem. Panem is controlled by the Capitol, a fortress city where the wealthy and the powerful preside. The Capitol city controls the 12 districts that surround it. Each district seems to have their area of “expertise”, for instance District 2 is known for their coal production. Each surrounding district are in various degrees of poverty with extremely limited resources, particularly when it comes to available food.
It really is the HUNGER Games
Outside of the Capitol city where love is beautiful, pretty much everywhere else sucks, and the Capitol likes it that way, it’s how they stay in power. Each year, the Capitol holds the Hunger Games for the 12 districts to compete in. Out of each of the 12 districts, 2 kids – one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 years old – are chosen to compete in the games.
The games are televised to everybody in the districts. It’s Christmas, New Years, July 4th, Easter and every other holiday all tied into one. It’s must viewing, literally, they’re expected to watch it.
The kids compete in battle in the Capitol. The battle is to the death. 24 kids enter, only one may leave alive. In order to win, you must kill each and every one of your competitors.
First place is great, you and your family get to live in the wealthy part of your district and live as celebrities for the rest of your life. You no longer have to worry about anything ever again. As a bonus, for the year that you’ve won – your district gets awarded food and gifts. Your district gets a little bit better if you win.
Second place sucks, you’re dead. Same with third place. Fourth place too! Everyone who doesn’t get first place – dies.
That’s the Hunger Games.
Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year-old girl who lives in District 2. Her father is long dead and she’s been supporting her family through her natural hunting skills. At the annual lottery where participants/”tributes” for the Hunger Games are selected, her 12 year old sister Primrose’s name gets picked. Katniss knows that would mean certain death for her sister. Rather than watch that happen, Katniss volunteers herself as the tribute for the games.
Katniss must make sure she is the last one standing in the games, or die herself.
Let the Hunger Games begin!
What about Battle Royale?
There have been some comparisons to the successful Japanese film Battle Royale, based on the book of the same name. Battle Royale concerns a class of Japanese students forced by the government to compete in a deadly game where students who are forced to kill each other or die. If they refuse to compete, a collar around their neck laced with explosives will go off. At the end of 3 days, only one student can survive or they all die. Sound familiar? Here’s one more detail, like the Hunger Games – the event is televised to the masses. The original movie was banned in many countries, was deemed too controversial. It should be noted, that the movie has had a big re-release on DVD and blu-ray in North America just in time for the Hunger Games movie being released.
The major difference is about tone. While Battle Royale is simply about survival in a “kill or be killed” scenario, there’s a bit more to The Hunger Games where it’s about love, sacrifice and not accepting things because that’s the way they are.
What else do you need to know?
As there’s 2 sequels to the book – Catching Fire and Mockingjay, expect at least 2 follow-up movies to be released. It’s likely that like the Harry Potter movies, that the last book will be split into 2 movies rather than just one. Jennifer Lawrence who wowed critics for her performance in Winter’s Bone, has been cast as Katniss Everdeen in the movie.