The Hunger Games Sucked. The Movie, Not the Book

Beware: Spoilers Below!

If you watched The Hunger Games, I am sorry you watched the films. The films are actually incredibly atrocious. They don’t do the books justice. The books themselves aren’t Shakespeare, but they’re far better than the movie.

To begin with, the film did not capture the incredible desperation in the districts. The people in District 12, where the protagonists come from, did not seem starved or as miserable as they are in the books. They live in the worst kind of extractive economy – hard work, less than livable wage, and the people are literally too starved and near death to properly fight for their rights.

The movie doesn’t show that, at all. In the first book, when the two lead characters first see the food in their train cars, they explode and are flabbergasted, having never seen anything like that throughout their entire lives. Katniss is a criminal poacher and Peeta is the son of a bread merchant, so they eat better than most in their district, yet they are still starved by the time they are chosen for the Hunger Games.

The irony of the title and the lack of hunger in the film resonates.

Even worse, the film fails to show the starvation and near-death dehydration and desperation in the actual arena. The film tosses off the fact that the bodies of the dead children from the Hunger Games arena were used to create those wolf-like creatures. The film also dismisses the gore in the book in order to keep the money-making PG-13 rating.

The movie sucked, badly. They did not do the books justice. Don’t judge the book by its crappy movie.

It may seem strange that I harp about the lack of hunger and starvation in the film, but it is actually a very big sticking point to the larger story. A big theme of the book is the excess at the capital; the food is an allusion to wealth – the wealthier and affluent you are, the more accessible food is.

You may not have watched the film “In Time” that came out last year. It’s a decent film, exchanging money wealth for time to live. Instead of being a milti-billionaire, the wealthy could literally live for a million years or more. The wealthy got those millions of years by forcing the poor (low life span) to continue their day to day lives by making them work for a barely livable wage.

Essentially, the poor and middle class in “In Time” were living paycheck to paycheck. The wealthy paid these workers a barely livable wage while they created goods which made the wealthy even wealthier. On top of that, the natural life span of people were cut short artificially and it was sold to the wealthy. This is how they can live for eons. If you translate the life-time from the film, the message is that the wealth the rich amass are unjustified and it’s concentrated on the backs of the people the wealth is being siphoned from.

In The Hunger Games series, life-time is food. In book two, the lead characters find out that while the people back home are starving, the people of the capital have vomitoriums set up during the feasts they throw all the time in order to continue eating and eating. While the people of the 12 districts toil and suffer in abject poverty, the capital lives off their hard work, sweat and blood. Just as in “In Time,” society is set up as an extractive economy, siphoning the livelihood of the people while keeping them subjected to a weak position to change things.

So there’s more to the books than the film lets on. As I said, the film is a disaster.


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