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The Hunger Games (2012)

The Hunger Games is a film based on a novel by Suzanne Collins. That novel tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a poor girl who illegally hunts in the woods near her home to support her starving family. She and her family live in District 12 of Panem, a nation existing in a post-apocalyptic North America. Every year, a boy and a girl, aged between 12 and 18, is chosen from each district to participate in the "Hunger Games". These games serve as a punishment for a failed rebellion against the totalitarian Capitol. This year Katniss's younger sister Primrose "Prim" is chosen. To protect her sister, Katniss volunteers in her place.

When I first saw this film, I noticed that it closely resembled the popular reality television show Survivor in how it presented contestants living out in the wilderness attempting to outlast each other. In order to survive, contestants banded into tribes to eliminate the competition. Contestants in the Hunger Games, or "tributes" as they're referred to in the movie, also banded together. In addition, contestants on Survivor were allowed to bring one object from home with them. In the film, Katniss brings her mockingjay pin. Also, participants on the show were occasionally given certain perks for winning competitions like, for instance, temporarily returning to the mainland to get decent food and clean up. The Hunger Games allows its tributes to get sponsors to give them special items, like food or medicine.

Another similarity I noticed in the story was the influence of ancient Roman culture on certain aspects of The Hunger Games. The obvious one would be the games themselves. This event closely resembles Roman gladiatoral games, where slaves were forced to fight to the death for the entertainment of the spectators. In Panem, the Hunger Games are presented on television so the entire nation watches as children kill each other for the amusement of the Capitol.

To wrap, The Hunger Games is a great film combining reality television with ancient Roman gladiator fights. I highly recommend it!

Director: Gary Ross.

Producers: Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik.

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, and Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman.

Kevin T. Dillehay has written more than 100 movie reviews from all genres. He provides a unique perspective on the movies you see all the time but may not stop and think about in depth. You are invited to check out his work at

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