Hunger Games Left Me Starving

 

I, like many other parents out there, took my son to see The Hunger Games opening weekend. I’ll admit I was ridiculously excited to see the movie. I bought into the hype big time.

Full disclosure: I didn’t read the books. Even though everyone told me I HAD to, I just couldn’t get into them. I tried. I really did.

** Now’s where I need to warn you that there are spoilers in this post. If you haven’t read the books or saw the movie, consider yourself notified that I give everything away. **

Right. Back to the movie. There we were, my son and I. We had our snacks and I’m psyched. The movie starts and I’m right there with Katniss and Gale in the forest. When she volunteers to take her sister’s place I get it. She’s a scrappy one, that Katniss. So far, I’m liking it. Except when she has to leave cutie-boy behind. That was a little sad.

Off to the Capitol! It was like Willy Wonka’s place without the chocolate river. I loved it.

I think by now I have a little crush on Gale and Seneca. I’m totally into the movie. When Katniss and the others are in the arena on the platform and the seconds are counting down I could feel their fear. Movies become real to me. I put myself in the character’s POV and feel the action. It’s the same with books. The characters are my friends.

That’s why this movie sucked for me.

As soon as the killing started I became uncomfortable, but I wasn’t sure why. When the Game Maker sent the fire to chase Katniss I cried foul. Then when Peeta joined with the other team to hunt Katniss I got pissed. It wasn’t until Rue died that I started to hate the movie.

Sweet beautiful angelic Rue.

When she was killed I happened to look over at my son and it hit me that he was of age to be picked for the games. If we lived in that terrible dystopian society my sweet baby could’ve been a victim of some corrupt government’s sick idea of entertainment. Those adults who were capable of creating a world with flying machines and trains that travel over two hundred miles and hour couldn’t conceive of a more viable option for peace than to sacrifice their children in a bloody battle to the death? For sport?

Watching it unfold onscreen with the dawning realization that our own world is not far from that future hurt my heart. As a mother, as a citizen, as a human.

The Hunger Games dragged me through a dank, dark tunnel with no light at the end. I left the theater asking my son a hundred questions. Did the President get killed? (I really hoped so), is the Game Maker dude dead because he ate the berries, does Katniss get all Chuck Norris on their ass in the next movie? My son wouldn’t tell me anything about the next two books so I did the unthinkable: I went home and read the last few chapters of Mocking Jay. Whatever hope or redemption I was looking for after watching the movie I didn’t find in the book. In fact, it only depressed me more.

You all know I love a good kickass heroine. Someone who has flaws, might get beat down but will always get up fighting. I really wanted Katniss to be that heroine. To take the charge and fight for the districts. You might say she’s an anti-hero and I get that. She never wanted what was thrown at her. She fought to stay alive. Nothing more, nothing less. But then I think, if she’s not going to care, why should I?

I can’t help it. Call me a dreamer. Say I’m a romantic who loves a good Happily Ever After. I am and I do. I wanted more for Katniss. For Prim, for Rue, and for all the others who were killed because of some idiotic game. I wanted Katniss to claim her victory and know that it was for a bigger purpose. Something larger than herself. Something worth fighting for and if that’s not love then at least give me hope.

Unfortunately, we don’t even get that.

What do you think? Did you see the movie or read the book? Did Katniss make you as cranky as she made me?

For more great blog posts on The Hunger Games check out Ellie Ann Soderstrom’s insightful post on Heroine’s. Or this awesome post where she talks about how lame Katniss is! Did I happen to mention how much I love Ellie Ann?

Or Marcy Kennedy’s post about the one line they forgot in the movie.

And finally Amanda at Write On The World had a little post about reading the book before seeing the movie. She’s got some great links at the bottom of her post. Check her out!

40 thoughts on “Hunger Games Left Me Starving

  1. mwebster76

    Thanks for the link! I personally have read the book but haven’t yet made it to the movie. (I’m waiting for my 12-year-old to get through the book first.) I’m taking a graduate writing course, studying Narratology, and we had an interesting discussion about this movie in class the other day. Everyone who both read the book and saw the movie agreed that if you did not read the book first, you would be missing a LOT. According to my classmates, the movie is good, but in many ways lacks the soul that is inherent in the book.

    1. Tameri Etherton

      That’s what I keep hearing. I just can’t get through the book. Something about first person always puts me off. I might have to tackle it at sometime, though! Thanks for swinging by. Hope you love the movie ~ get that kid to finish the book!

  2. Bridgette Booth

    Oh Tameri you read the end of Mockingjay??? That’s was Collins’ worst book, especially the ending. Readers threw a fit after reading it. The other books were better (even Mockingjay was okay until the middle/end).

    It is a dark series, so I understand why people are troubled over it. I’ve read that this generation likes dystopia because this generation has a bleak worldview. Not sure I agree, but I hear it plenty.

    I enjoyed the books much more than I enjoyed the movie. It seemed like it skimmed too much and kept things superficial.

    1. Tameri Etherton

      I know, I’m sorry! I guess since I’m a child of the 80′s and it was all big hair and loud colors the dystopian thing bugs me. I like happy. It’s who I am. ;)

  3. Traci Bell

    Hi Tameri,

    I could not even get through the first book and have not seen the movie. One of my best friends couldn’t put the books down. Just goes to show how different all of our tastes can be!

    1. Tameri Etherton

      Isn’t that fun how that works out? I always find it interesting when someone doesn’t like something I love. That’s why we have choices, I guess! Glad I have someone in my corner who couldn’t finish the book. We’ll have our own little party here in the ‘No Hunger Games’ area.

  4. Coleen Patrick

    I really liked the first book. It’s been a while since I read them, but I do remember not liking the last book as much as the first.
    I would say I enjoyed the movie, but that’s keeping in mind knowing the outcome of all the kids in the games. I already knew what to expect. But I do think I prefer a happy ending to books and movies.
    Oh but I also saw the movie at midnight. It was such a surreal experience– I was just exhausted. I think I’m too old for midnight movies! :)

    1. Tameri Etherton

      Midnight showings are totally surreal. It’s like you’re in another universe completely. Especially if you go in costume. :) Which I haven’t done in twenty odd years. I’m definitely too old!

  5. Debra Kristi

    Hehehe. Okay, I still don’t know how I feel about the movie. I am undecided, but I didn’t dislike the book. I actually kind of liked it. But from things I’ve heard I get the feeling I will be disappointed in the very end. :( I hate when that happens. I haven’t started the second book yet.

    1. Tameri Etherton

      That’s how I am. I liked it but I didn’t. If it wasn’t for the kids killing kids I’d be totally into it. I’m super curious about book two now.

  6. Anne M Leone

    Yes. So glad to see this post! I felt exactly the same way about the first book as you did the movie, so I haven’t read any of the other books, and don’t plan on seeing the movie. I understand it’s supposed to be a critique of our society, but I wanted some message of hope, or an antidote, or at least a good attempt at a rebellion. To do otherwise, especially in a book for children, seems like accepting defeat.

    1. Tameri Etherton

      Exactly! Give those kids something to reach for. So glad you stopped by and feel the same way! It’s always nice to have company when you have the unpopular opinion.

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  9. Gayle Carline

    So I haven’t read any of the books and won’t see the movie because I just rarely get to the movies anymore, not even the ones I want to see. From your description and the posts I read, I don’t think I need to. I want books and movies that lift me up. I possibly wanted angst in my teenaged years, but thanks, no, not anymore.

    1. Tameri Etherton

      Yeah, skip this one. Maybe someday if you’re super bored check it out. My teenage angst years are far behind me, too. I’ll take happily ever after over dystopian any day of the week. ;)

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  12. Marcy Kennedy

    It should come as no surprise to anyone that I loved this series and loved the movie, but even I have to admit I still struggle with certain parts of Mockingjay. The deaths in the previous two books made sense to me. I didn’t like them, but they made sense. Some of the deaths in Mockingjay just seemed inserted because (a) Katniss needed to be mostly alone at the end and (b) the pattern of multiple deaths per book had been set. I would argue that the last chapter of Mockingjay comes with a certain amount of hope and satisfaction in that Katniss and Peeta end up together (yup, I’m Team Peeta), and in that Katniss overcomes her past enough to have children. But these are dark books.

    Great post and thanks for the link to mine :)

    1. Tameri Etherton

      You’re welcome, Marcy! I keep hearing that the books make it less superficial so maybe I need to give them a fair shot. I still won’t like that kids kill kids, but if it makes more sense then maybe it’ll be okay. Team Peeta, huh? I think I’d be team Gale. Because, you know, he’s Chris Hemsworth’s brother. ;)

  13. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

    Hmm. I haven’t read the books but was looking forward to seeing the movie. Now I think I’ll just go to the theater, pick up some popcorn, come home and watch The Proposal again. Then I’ll just rent the movie when it comes out. If there’s a chance I won’t like it…and it sounds like there is…it doesn’t seem as bad to not like it from the comfort of my own home. :)

    1. Tameri Etherton

      Haha! Still go see the movie. If you have to go there to get popcorn anyway you might as well stay. The Proposal is an awesome movie, though. Tough call. ;)

  14. Angela Wallace

    I hated the last book for the reason you mentioned–no redemption. There’s nothing better after all that struggle. I loved the first book, but have no desire to see it played out on screen. :-/

    1. Tameri Etherton

      Maybe I’ll read the first two books thens top halfway through the last book, rewriting the ending in my head. Happiness! You won’t see the movie even if you loved the first book? What?!?!

      1. Angela Wallace

        The second was more or less a regurgitation of the first. I kind of wished I had stopped after the first book. And I don’t have the nerves of steel I used to, especially for the big screen.

  15. Karen McFarland

    Tamari, thank you for saving me a few dollars! You and another friend pretty much said the same thing. I did not read the books and now I won’t have to waste my money on the movie. As a mom I find it sad to think that the story promotes killing off our young offspring, if I understand that correctly. Yeah, that’s scary. Thanks Tamari! :)

  16. EllieAnn

    Great post, Tameri! And thanks for the link to mine.
    You really nailed it when you said there was no hope. Hope is an extremely human emotion. Even people in the most gruesome of situations–prison camps or concentration camps–still have hope, and that makes them human. When Katniss gives up hope, it’s impossible for me to root for her.
    This was also supposed to be an “anti-violence” message, but in the end Katniss used violence to enact revenge and save society from another dictator. I don’t get that. She always used violence. Couldn’t there have been a better way to communicate anti-violence? That left me “hungry,” as you put it.

    1. Tameri Etherton

      Did Katniss ever have hope? I’m not sure she did. I can’t believe some people tout this movie as ‘anti-violence’ or ‘pro-feminist’ (I’ve read that a few places). Putting a bow in a girl’s hand doesn’t make her ‘pro-feminist’! Thanks for you awesome post and insight here. I love the way your brain works.

  17. Rebecca Enzor

    I loved the movie and the book – even the ending. I thought it was a very realistic ending. It wasn’t happily ever after, but I’m one of the few people who doesn’t necessarily like happily ever after endings. Yes, I WANT the characters to achieve their goals and end with a kiss, but real life doesn’t work like that, so I don’t see why books and movies always have to either.

    1. Tameri Etherton

      I feel like that dog in the video ~ the one where they guy says he’s going to give the bacon covered treat to the cat and the dog goes, ‘Noooooooo!’. Yeah, that’s how I feel about not having happily ever afters. I’m such a dork.

      I’m thinking maybe I get enough real life in my real life so I want the fairytale, but it’s good there are movies like this for fabulous gals like you who want the realism. Thanks for hanging out with us today!!

  18. Emma

    I thought the movie was very true to the book. I loved it. The Reaping scene in the film was so sinister; it reminded me of a concentration camp. Out of all three books, the first one is the best. Katniss is like you say a reluctant hero but she does step up later and take on the Capitol.

    1. Tameri Etherton

      I didn’t get sinister from the reaping scene, but the name alone gives me heebie jeebies. Reaping. Eeesh! I’m starting to think I need to at least read book two. I’d love to see Katniss step up and these comments have got me curious!

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