Not So Different
As an avid fan of the Hunger Games trilogy, I was nervous about seeing the movie. With the muttations, the disease, and uh, I don’t know, the complete plot line of kids killing kids for sport, I was worried that the spirit of the book would be too grotesque to play on the big screen. Much to my relief, these delicate situations were handled in such a way that the violence and the discomfort was visible but not in your face, and just enough to get the point across. By cutting out some of the less pleasant, movie-friendly scenes, the directors managed to add a plot line that the book was really lacking: full explanation of the game-making.
While reading the books, I just took it in stride that the Capital had it’s way with everything, including natural phenomena like water, fire, and genetic makeup. This seemed feasible in the book, but wouldn’t have made any sense in the movie because everything seemed realistic, so an explanation was vital.
I loved the control room for the games, with the holographic map where the game makers got to play god. During the forest fire, head game-maker Seneca Crane asks for “a tree right there,” right as Katniss leaps over a burning tree that falls in her path. He asks a woman to “prepare another cannon” as soon as Katniss comes close to the other tributes, signaling her impending death. The tributes think that their fate is in their hands as they struggle to survive, and while some know that they are the Captial’s puppets, I’m not sure they know quite to what extent they are being controlled.
This total control brings me back to The Island, where the clones have no idea that their world isn’t the real one. Further removed, I think about “Little C” and the genetic control that decided his fate, relating to the giant dogs, the tracker jackers, and the mocking jays that decide the fate of the tributes and eventually the Capital. And with one tiny step back after that, I’m right in A Brave New World and 1984 where they can see your every move, just as President Snow and his peace-keepers watch the moves of the district like Big Brother, giving them their Soma in the form of hope brought about by the yearly Hunger Games.
These books and movie are more relevant to this course than I originally thought. But by combining genetics, control and dystopia, The Hunger Games pretty much hit the main points.