Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Hunger Games

Husband and I saw THE HUNGER GAMES movie last weekend.  No, I won't be writing a  review.  I'm not the arbiter of What is Good and What is Bad. Being a writer myself, I don't like to pronounce judgements on a work of art that someone just poured her heart, soul and guts into. Although, on the other hand, I don't mind telling you my opinion if I feel strongly about something.

And, yes, I do have a very strong opinion about THE HUNGER GAMES:  I absolutely love it. 

That movie was awesome.  Not perfect.  Some of those shaky cam close ups made me dizzy.  But the film stayed mostly true to the original story and presented the novel pretty much the way I had imagined it.  The actors, sets and costumes were great.  HUNGER GAMES is the biggest YA book to come along since TWILIGHT and HARRY POTTER so I'm happy to see it turned into an intelligent, well produced film.

What I really love about HUNGER GAMES, both the movie and the book, is its strong female lead: Katniss Everdeen.  She's a rich, multidimensional character.  She kills people when she has to. She falls in love when she needs to. She questions the world she lives in. She survives. Writer Suzanne Collins allows Katniss to be who she is. She didn't follow the same old precepts about girls that we've been taught to expect. Yet, she didn't shy away from giving Katniss a nurturing side.

I write YA novels that feature strong female lead characters so it's wonderful to see something like HUNGER GAMES be so successful.  And it's a good sign that so many recent movies have featured assertive girls: WINTER'S BONE, TRUE GRIT. (Another of my favorite novels.)  Maybe mainstream media will loosen up a little and realize that girls in stories can have more than just two dimensions. They can have longings and desires and flaws and goals of their own.  They're not just eye candy for the boys.  And power shopping isn't their only ability. 

I haven't read TWILIGHT yet, but it's on my list. Now I'm thinking I'd better get to it. TWILIGHT has its many fans, but it has its detractors too.  Mostly they complain that Bella's character isn't a strong, independent individual.  I'm curious to see which side I'll come down on.  Although to be fair, I'm not that interested in vampire stories so TWILIGHT has a mark against it already.