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!