Are the odds still in its favour?
Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Running time: 142 minutes
Yes, we're well and truly getting to the point where every 20-something-year-old is being made to feel old by the films they loved in their teenage years having big anniversaries. This time, it's The Hunger Games with its ten-year anniversary... yes... ten years.
Now let me take you back to when The Hunger Games first hit our screens. Girls everywhere, whether they'd like to admit it or not, were doing the most to try to master that Katniss braid, and everyone else was trying to hone their whistling skills. Not to mention, although there wasn't quite so much hype about it – in the sense there was no 'team' merchandise doing the rounds – we were all being faced with our biggest love-triangle dilemma since Twilight.
The Hunger Games marked the beginning of a dystopian young-adult fiction boom in cinema. As an audience, we were transported into a world where many of us first discovered tyranny in action, as a corrupt president ordered an annual symbolic slaughter of teenagers as a deterrent against the kind of uprising that happened over 70 years prior. We saw the injustice of the class system as residents of the Capitol got to roam around in fancy manors, gorging themselves on food while sporting day-to-day fashion that wouldn’t be out of place at the Met Gala, while the residents of the Districts were forced to live in squalor. Yet, we were also met with the idea of revolution, with the power to change things being in the hands of any one person. In this case, it was a 16-year-old girl from District 12 who was ready to put everything on the line to save her sister.
I never thought I would be writing that The Hunger Games has aged in a way that it explores themes prevalent to our society
In exposing the target audience of teenagers to the themes of a classic dystopia, the filmmakers were able to lay the foundations of deeper thinking into the goings-on of society. I never thought I would be writing that The Hunger Games has aged in a way that it explores themes prevalent to our society. This delving into the dystopian themes is perhaps why the classic love triangle trope is played down so much, because there are so many other themes being tackled in the film. That being said, we all definitely had someone we were rooting for out of Peeta and Gale… and trust me, as the films go on, you develop more pros and cons for both of them.
No, The Hunger Games might not be up there with some of ‘the classics’ of its demographic, like Harry Potter, but enough people loved it and its characters that they were able to make three more films out of it, so we could witness the conclusion of a revolution we had all very much gotten behind. It has aged in a way that it might not be the film you automatically gravitate towards as your Saturday-night watch, but if you do, you'll definitely be watching the whole series.
Did you know? Source novel author Suzanne Collins, who began her career as a screenwriter for children’s TV, wrote the first draft of the film adaptation’s script. “Lionsgate established a dialogue with me, making me feel my input was valuable and welcome,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “Obviously, you have to let things go, but it’s more than a question of condensation. You want to preserve the essence while making the film stand on its own.”
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