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The Hunger Games The Hunger Games


The Hunger Games

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									The Hunger Games

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each
of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted
punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a
nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister’s place to enter the games, and is
forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch
Abernathy when she’s pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their
entire lives. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the
arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

         Building on her performance as a take-no-prisoners teenager in Winter's Bone, Jennifer
Lawrence portrays heroine Katniss Everdeen in Gary Ross's action-oriented adaptation of author-
screenwriter Suzanne Collins's young adult bestseller. Set in a dystopian future in which the income gap
is greater than ever, 24 underprivileged youth fight to the death every year in a televised spectacle
designed to entertain the rich and give the poor enough hope to quell any further unrest--but not too
much, warns Panem president Snow (Donald Sutherland), because that would be "dangerous." Hailing
from the same mining town, 16-year-olds Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, The Kids Are All Right)
represent District 12 with the help of escort Effie (an unrecognizable Elizabeth Banks) and mentor
Haymitch (a scene-stealing Woody Harrelson).
         At first they're adversaries, but a wary partnership eventually develops, though the rules
stipulate that only one contestant can win. For those who haven't read the book, the conclusion is likely
to come as a surprise. Before it arrives, Ross (Pleasantville) depicts a society in which the Haves appear
to have stepped out of a Dr. Seuss book and the Have-Nots look like refugees from the WPA
photographs of Walker Evans. It's an odd mix, made odder still by frenetic fight scenes where it's hard to
tell who's doing what to whom. Fortunately, Lawrence and Hutcherson prove a sympathetic match in
this crazy, mixed-up combination of Survivor, Lost, and the collected works of George Orwell. --Kathleen
C. Fennessy

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