‘The Hunger Games’ evokes high expectations

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

When books are made into movies, there is always the possibility of the movie being a letdown, said Jeffrey Brown, associate professor of popular culture.

“The Hunger Games” is premiering this weekend and is based off the New York Times best-selling book by the same name.

Movies can be a letdown compared to a book because everyone envisions the book in a certain way, Brown said. Despite the possibility of disappointment, Brown said he thinks the fan reaction will be positive.

“I was nervous about it, but I think the trailer looks great,” Brown said. “I think they’ve done a good job of not sexualizing her (Katniss).”

Freshman Becky Hoopman has read the book and is planning to go see the movie. She is most excited for one part of the movie in particular.

“The girl on fire costume,” Hoopman said.

The character Cinna’s costumes are always amusing, Hoopman said.

“I think how Lenny Kravitz portrays Cinna should be interesting,” Hoopman said.

She is also looking forward to seeing the opening ceremonies of the game.

Rona Klein, senior lecturer in the English department, said she is already noticing ways the trailer differs from the book.

“I hope it will stay true to the book,” Klein said.

Brown and Klein both require their classes to read the book, and Brown will even have his students go to the movie.

Women in Action Adventure is the class Brown teaches where he asks students to read the book and the movie. Katniss, the main character, is the reason they read the book and watch the movie, Brown said.

“[Katniss] is a girl who has physical power to do well in the games; she’s resourceful, and she is also able to be politically powerful and unite a whole society behind her,” Brown said.

As far as the book goes, young adult literature with this type of heroine isn’t uncommon, Brown said.

“There’s a fair amount of it, where girls have the agency to do more than shop and buy clothes and look at boys and do girly things,” Brown said.

“The Hunger Games” isn’t just an ordinary young adult book; there are aspects of it that set it apart from the norm.

“It’s well-written,” Brown said. “I think it manages to unite romance and action in a time when other young adult books are girly. It struck a chord that was different.”

Klein requires students in her adolescent literature class to read the book and asked them what they thought. Her students agreed with Brown, noting the well-developed characters.

“Even the ones who seem all bad, as you go on you discover why they’re acting that way,” Klein said.

These aspects not only set the book apart from others in the genre, but also give it appeal for many different people, Brown said.

“I think it appeals to everybody,” Brown said. “It’s a great book; it’s a great dystopic science fiction book … it’s more than a love triangle.”

The fact that the book has a lot of action with a love story woven in also allows for greater popularity, Klein said.

The author, Suzanne Collins, makes a difference as well, Klein said.

“The author trusts the audience to figure out issues and deal with them; she doesn’t hit you over the head with it,” Klein said.

Klein has been discussing the book in her class for a couple of years now and said she loves it.

“I think the characters are very thought provoking in terms of media and human nature and a lot of issues,” Klein said.