The Hunger Games: Mandatory viewing
The future has never looked so bleak as it does in “The Hunger Games,” opening in theaters tomorrow.
Set in post-apocalyptic North America, “The Hunger Games” tells the story of a country called Panem, which is made up of 12 districts that are ruled by a corrupt government known as The Capitol.
The story follows Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old resident of District 12 who volunteers to fight in place of her sister in the annual Hunger Games – a mandatory death match for teenagers from the different districts.
The book, which has made author Suzanne Collins the best-selling Kindle author of all time (not to mention has sold over 2.9 million copies in print) will be released in a much-hyped film adaptation.
“I think the best thing about the movie will be getting to see my imagination played out right in front of me,” said junior Haley Strohmenger, who read “The Hunger Games” and its two sequels, “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay,” in just under a week.
For Strohmenger, it is the novel’s story that has her excited to go to the theater.
“There’s something about them that just sucks you in and doesn’t let you put them down until you know absolutely how everything ends,” she said.
In terms of fandom-and the intense passion fans have for the story-“The Hunger Games” has been compared to such high-grossing series as “Harry Potter” and “Twilight.” Now, like those series-which both fared amazingly well as both books and films-the March 23 debut will show if the story can successfully jump from page to screen.
In the film adaptation of “The Hunger Games,” Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss, Josh Hutcherson of “The Kids Are Alright” playsPeeta Mellark, the boy tribute from District 12, and Liam Hemsworth of “The Last Song,” plays Katniss’ friend and hunting partner, Gale Hawthorne.
While Lionsgate, the distributor of the film, has advertised “The Hunger Games” in numerous ways, including a Twitter scavenger hunt, an online virtual Panem, and sneak-peeks through MTV.com, there is one glaring aspect of “The Hunger Games” that seems to be absent. None of the advertising seems to include the arena – the place where the brutal fighting of the Games takes place.
“I’m a little worried that since the book is kind of brutal in some parts, it might stray from the book during some of my favorite parts,” said junior Jenny Lewellen.
While the previews may be lacking images of the most intense part of the film-the arena-the rigorous training Lawrence, Hutcherson andHemsworth underwent promises that the film will not be lacking in action.
Professional archery trainer Russia’s Khatuna Lorig, who trained Lawrence in the art of using a bow and arrow for the role of Katniss, said she believes the archery industry will also profit from the popularity of the film.
Lorig and Lawrence had 15 one-hour lessons with a regular lightweight wooden bow during filming.
According to Lorig, working with Lawrence was “very nice,” and she added that Lawrence has an “awesome personality.”
Lorig, who called the series “very addicting,” said she believes many younger children will be interested by archery and would like to experience what Katniss does.
At any rate, the world will be watching to see if “The Hunger Games” lives up to the hype. May the odds be ever in their favor.
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