I was at the store the other day, and I saw a ton of Hunger Games stuff. As a fan would, I gravitated towards this, checking out the merchandising and such. One thing I saw was one of the special one-shot film magazines, produced by some other bigger magazine. This one boasted three posters. “Three posters?” I said to myself , “if they’re good, this could be a jackpot.”
I pick up the magazine, leaf through it and see interviews about the stars romantic lives. And I begin to realize that this is the very thing the Hunger Games is satirizing. I flip further through the magazine and find the first poster. It’s just the star who is portraying Peeta. I keep flipping. A poster with Katniss. “That’s pretty cool,” my inner monologue mutters. Then the third one. The actor playing Gale. I shove the magazine back on the rack with disgust.
It seems to me that the marketing behind this film is emphasizing Katniss Everdeen’s dependence upon a male figure and her inner struggle between which perfectly suitable man would be best for her. Yet this is the very theme I felt the text was decrying. It filled me with disappointment and disgust. If this film becomes Twilight-i-fied, as many speculators fear, I will be very disappointed. I want to see a film about the human condition. The reason the book is so fascinating and enjoyable is because, much like a modern version of Thomas More’s Utopia, it criticizes the world we live in, the assumptions we make about gender roles, and how we consume media.
The Hunger Games fits perfectly into the realm of dystopic literature with 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 and V for Vendetta. The tension of the possibility is the significant pull of the text, not the question of who will get to home base. Yet in our film adaptations and creations it seems like we continue to move forward in creating the very dystopia we are forewarned of.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to share in comments.