Actress Jennifer Lawrence has taken the world by storm with her role in “The Hunger Games.” There have been many complaints from hardcore “Hunger Games” fans about the obvious deviations and short-comings filmmakers have caused in the movies. However, the anger of this minority is nothing compared to the pissed off–and rightfully so–anti-Hunger Games community.
The reality of the situation is that the series of books revolving around Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) are just a perverted version of a literary marvel written nine years earlier by the name of “Battle Royale.” Unfortunately, about 90 percent of the people who go hard for “The Hunger Games” don’t even know what this book is.
“Battle Royale” is about a group of high school students that are placed on an island in Asia by a totalitarian government to forcibly participate in a bloody and violent event called the Program. The students are pitted against each other, and the event does not end until all participants but one are dead. Sound familiar?
The broad overall theme isn’t all that these plots have in common. A recurring motif in both novels is the focus on dreams, which relays to readers the mindset of several characters. Many of these dreams, predictably, show the desire for violence and homicide. The other significant correlation between the two is in the form of “outsiders” or people who enter the game willingly only to aid in murder and assault.
Yet still, “Hunger Games” fans are insisting that “Battle Royale” is a completely different–and inferior–story.
No, April. Sadly, I am not kidding you.
I am not at all saying that there is no significant difference between the two. The fact is just that the differences are what make “The Hunger Games” a knock-off, rather than an improvement.
To be perfectly blunt, “The Hunger Games” is nothing more than a soft version created for teens and pre-teens who are unable to handle true violence and who absolutely revel in romantic drama. While romance is a recurring element in both tales, “Battle Royale” characters Shuya and Noriko are involved in a simple love connection complicated only by the environment they are forced to be in. “The Hunger Games,” however, creates a delicious love-triangle; the exact kind of drama that teen girls relish. It’s even better that they get to pretend to be “bad ass” for liking something that includes some sort of rebellion.
Romantic drama is not the only thing that makes “The Hunger Games” child’s play compared to “Battle Royale.” Simply put: “Battle Royale” is real. Author Koushun Takami does not hold back in terms of vivid bloodshed and gore. The amount of true carnage found in the tale is unrestrained, brutal, and nearly limitless. It shows the truth of how people in such a situation would act, and it’s not pretty.
Collins’ rendition of government malevolence fluffs and tragically downplays the necessary brutality and violence in order to cater to a younger, more juvenile, generation. This is true for both the books and the motion pictures. Actors like Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth never see the real gore that actors who played characters in “Battle Royale” did.
And this, my dears, this is the truth.
So yes, the title of this article may have been a cheap way to drag “Hunger Games” enthusiasts in to be clobbered with the sad truth about their fandom, but so be it. No disrespect to Jennifer Lawrence, but it is what it is.
And, well, if I haven’t managed to convince you…
By: Hend Salah