The basic plot, namely forcing good people to fight each other to the death, is as old as time. What makes it new to the younger generation is that the story now involves someone who looks like them. Hunger Games seems to aim for the Twilight crowd with themes of violence and teenage angst. The story involves all the usual things that create a draw in the minds of teenaged girls, love, sacrifice, denial and a search for meaning and identity.
The storyline is that in the future, there is a centralized government over parts of Mexico, the United States and Canada. This country is called Panem. The nation is split up into 12 pieces called districts. Because of an attempted rebellion against the central authority, in which the 13th district was destroyed, a draconian penalty was exacted. In order to teach the rebellious districts a lesson, some of their young people are picked by a lottery to fight one another for the amusement and enlightenment of the public at large, to the death, on live television, in a contest called the Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games trilogy was written by Suzanne Collins. It appears that Suzanne has caught lightning in a bottle because her best-selling books have now been made into a movie.
The tale is in keeping with a long history of post-apocalyptic science fiction stories wherein the characters struggle for their humanity in a world gone mad. One of the odder points in the books is that the participants are minors. They are between 12 and 18 years old. It is more customary to try to save the youth from such bizarre and grotesque punishments as a fight to death. One wonders if some children rights group will come forth complain about the abuse of and exploitation of the young.
The author claims to have come up with the idea for the book when she was channel surfing and saw a sporting competition on one television channel and he Iraq war on another.
As per usual when the hype machine gens up these days there are fan sites and fan tribute sites to follow things like interviews with the stars of the movie.
The movie is due out in theaters on March 23rd, 2012 so for anyone who wants to hitch their ride to this star and get on the hype bandwagon, just this once you have been forewarned and can be the first on your block to know about the characters and the story.