The Hunger Games
Produced and distributed by Lionsgate
Directed by Gary Ross
Written by Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross
Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the first volume of a trilogy set in a not-too-distant future. An unspecified apocalyptic event has destroyed much of North America, and a new state named Panem has arisen to replace the old. It comprises 12 districts under the tyrannical command of the Capitol, a central city inhabited by a smarmy but ruthless ruling class who wallow in cheesy sentimentality even as they entertain themselves with the cruelest of spectacles. While they cry over the plight of their subjects, they blithely ignore that they are responsible for their subjects’ suffering in the first place.
The Capitol keeps the underclass down with man-made famines. The only hope for relief comes annually at an event known as the Hunger Games, in which one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected by lottery from each of the districts to participate in gladiatorial contests. The games are covered by the broadcast media with all the gushing pomp and crude cynicism of our Olympic Games, complete with maudlin interviews with the youth who are about to be offered up to satisfy the Capitol’s obscure needs. Accordingly, these...