The movie “The Hunger Games” is based on the book of the same name written by Suzanne Collins. “The Hunger Games” is set in a dystopian society called Panem. Panem which is divided into the Capitol, where the rich people in government live, and 12 Districts where the citizens live in abject poverty. Many years before the movie is set, there was a civil war in which the then-13 Districts, rebelled against the Capitol. The Capitol won the war, in the process, District 13 was completely destroyed.
Every year, to remind the citizens of what happened the last time they rebelled, each district has to give up 2 tributes: one teenage boy and one teenage girl, to fight to the death in the Hunger Games. These are broadcast live throughout Panem.
The movie itself, follows the two tributes from District 12, Katniss Everdeen, and Peeta Mellark. The plot of the movie, centers around them getting picked/volunteering for the games, getting ready for the games, fighting, and ultimately, in a rebellious act, threatening to commit suicide simultaneously when they are the last two tributes still alive, in order to become the first couple to win the Hunger Games.
This movie has dystopian themes of governance and human rights. In this society, there is a totalitarian government headed by one man, President Snow similar to the government in the novel We, where the head of the government known as the Benefactor, is supposedly elected but the outcome is assured. In both the “Hunger Games” and We, the individual is only important to the functioning of the society. In We, there are no ‘people’ as such, only the citizens have numbers instead of names, while in “Hunger Games” the society isn’t a collective, there is still that theme of individual sacrifice for the greater good of the society when it comes to the tributes.
Every year, 24 teenagers are selected knowing that only 23 will come out alive, and this is cheered and emphasis is placed on the tributes’ bravery and sacrifice, knowing that they have no choice in the matter, once they’re chosen, they must fight, for the good of Panem.
This movie is also similar to the novel The Time Machine when it comes to the class system. In The Time Machine the society is divided between the aristocratic Eloi and the proletariat Morlocks in a world where the Morlocks are in control and the Eloi are herded as sheep. In “The Hunger Games” the aristocrats and other wealthy people in the Capitol want for nothing and are in control of the society, while the proletariat citizens of the districts are treated like sheep led to the slaughter.
The members of the capitol are tone-deaf. They cheer on the tributes and place bets on their favorites to win. They don’t seem to realize that these are real human lives being lost: picked up from poverty to kill their fellow citizens, for the entertainment of those whose children will never be picked.