There are many ideas surrounding what a post-apocalyptic society will be like – both in literature and in film. For me, this is why The Hunger Games was such an interesting film. The Hunger Games is the dystopian brainchild of author Suzanne Collins and has now been dramatically adapted into a film, directed by Gary Ross.
The first part of this science fiction trilogy centres on a totalitarian nation called Panem which has been divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Starvation is rife, particularly in the poorer districts 10 to 12 and each society has its own culture, dress code and industrial uses. In addition to the harsh conditions, a game is invented as entertainment and retribution for a previous rebellion. One male and one female aged between 12 and 18 is chosen from each district to compete in a game of survival called the ‘Hunger Games’.
You are introduced to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a mature 16-year-old girl who regularly escapes the confines of her district to hunt for food for her family. She also acts as a mother figure to her 12-year-old sister Prim (Williow Shields) after their father died and their mother sunk into deep depression. They are from the poorest of the districts (district 12).
It’s the day the ‘tributes’ are selected and to their horror Prim is chosen but Katniss quickly steps in and volunteers herself in Prim’s place. Katniss becomes District 12’s first volunteer and this automatically gains her a lot of support from her district and the Capitol. A boy Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is also selected and it later transpires that he has feelings for Katniss. The ‘tributes’ are taken to the Capitol where they meet the other young competitors, some of whom have trained for this day their whole lives but experienced huntress Katniss has an advantage.
Katniss is introduced to her mentor and stylist who teach her that survival skills will only get her so far in what is really a popularity contest. The more liked you are by the sponsors living in the Capitol, the more aid you will receive throughout the game.
During the game, an alliance forms between Katniss’s strongest rivals and they try to track her down. Katniss forms a friendship with the youngest contest Rue (Amandla Stenberg) from another of the poorer districts. Together they battle to try and stay alive against the other contestants and the higher powers who are growing increasingly suspicious of Katniss.
This film is thrilling from start to finish and leaves you wanting more. I cannot wait to see the next instalment but until then I’m going to read the books which I wish I had done beforehand.