Hunger Games as a Reflection of Life

I watched Hunger Games for the second time last night.  I cannot recall how much critical acclaim the movie received from the general public, but I was fascinated by the story line and the survival of Katniss and Peeta from District 12.  I also cried slightly when Rue was killed by a participant of the Hunger Games.  Hunger being a part of the title is symbolic of the poverty in the 12 Districts but also a reality on the 1st Congressional District today.  While Congressman Brady is trying to save the Manayunk Bike race, the district in which I reside remains one of the hungriest in the nation.

I was impressed by Katniss in the opening scenes.  She is intent on shooting a deer for her family.  I did not know until I read the review that her Father had died five years earlier.  She is interrupted by a friend as she desperately tries to bring home dinner.  She and her friend share a biscuit and one would have thought it was steak infused by the way she devours her half.  It is during the upcoming scenes that I continue to be impressed by the Heroine.

Katniss' little sister, Primrose, is randomly selected to participate in the Hunger games.  The spectacle of the games is a fight to the death by a boy and a girl from each of the 12 Districts of Panem.  Primrose would have been slaughtered in the opening fight scene and Katniss bravely volunteered to go in her place.  The whole journey towards the fight was one of luxury and preening that the participants could only dream of at home.  I can equate it to the realities faced by many who are challenged to find balanced everyday meals while being bombarded with McDonald's commercials.

The Games are a major spectacle for the more well to do in the movie.  There are an elaborate array of technicians who can command fires, animals, obstacles and healing ointments for injured participants.
The powers that be have cameras set up throughout the games that show death and destruction.  Weapons are at the ready but obtaining them is fraught with danger and destruction.  Although it appears that Peeta has joined forces in order to kill Katniss, in the end, he is able to survive with her.

I must mention my little Rue again.  She was so fragile.  She was 12 according to the novel.  She was able to survive by climbing trees and blending into the trees and environment.  It didn't seem like she killed anyone but she helped Katniss to escape a major jam by pointing out a major hornets nest that led to the death of another participant.  She looked out for Katniss after she was stung by a bee and they formed a bond until Rue's unfortunate death.  The fact that Katniss helped Rue saved her life because a comrade of Rue killed a participant that had a blade to the Heroine's neck.

I don't know how the spectacle of poverty and hunger came to be a spectator sport in a movie.  I remember Death Race 2000 when pedestrians were run down for sport.  The reality show aspect of the movie was interesting too.  Everyone and their sister has a reality show today.  Does watching someone's life relieve us of the pressure or excitement of living our own life?  After Real Housewives of Atlanta and Basketball Wives, I vow to focus on learning another language before I watch another show.  I enjoyed Hunger Games in spite of the sad story line because of the survival skills of a 16 year old girl.  I am waiting for part Two.

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