Are you seeing Hunger Games?

March 22, 2012

Anxiously awaiting my chance to see the first of the Hunger Games movies, I'm jealous of students who get a midnight showing tonight.

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I am exceptionally jealous of the Pacific University students who will get an early look at the Hunger Games movie in a midnight showing tonight. (And not only because the tickets were $2!)

I am a fan of young adult fiction, and as such, a huge fan of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, even if I did hold out against recommendations to read it for several months because I was so appalled at the very concept.

For those who are unfamiliar with the current craze, well, I don’t know where you’re hiding. But let me give you a quick synopsis: Katniss Everdeen is a teen who lives in a post-apocalyptic dystopia in which an annual lottery selects one boy and one girl from each of 12 poor regional districts to participate in a vile to-the-death reality TV show as punishment for a long-ago rebellion against the ruling Capitol. Katniss volunteers in place of her younger sister, and her fight to survive, along with a tough if somewhat naïve attitude, make her a symbol of hope in the country.

Frankly, the notion made me a little sick—I don’t even like normal reality TV, the premise of this book sounded horrific.

Even more frankly, the books made me a little sick, but in a strangely beautiful sort of way. Though targeted for adolescents, these stories don’t pull any punches in addressing some very real issues—hunger, grief, war, to name a few.

Lots has been written about the deeper meaning of the books (my take: read them and form your own opinions), about the translation of books to movie (my take again: really, really hoping it’s better than the Twilight series, as I loved the books but, sorry, hated the movies), and about whether the subject matter is appropriate for children and teens (I think so, but again, read them yourself).

What I’ll say is that I loved the series. I cried more than once in the reading of it, and when I finished, I felt like I had been beaten with an emotional stick. Tired and sad, heart bruised, but deeply moved. I had to wait a while, but I read all three again in anticipation of the movie release.

I won’t get to see the film at midnight tonight, nor tomorrow for opening day, but I am hoping to get to it Sunday afternoon for the incredibly rare movie-date-afternoon with my husband. (A testament to how much I want to see this: The last movie we saw in the theatre was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part I. Though avid fans of the books and movies, we didn’t even make it to Part II in the theatre. Husband isn’t sure this qualifies as a “date movie,” but I overruled him.)

So, here’s hoping we make it to the show this weekend and that it lives up to the expectations set by some truly marvelous books.

Are you seeing the movie? I’d love to hear what you think!