How will ‘Hunger Games’ film translate the book’s violence?

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Reality television seems to have taken over the entertainment section in society. With shows like “The Bachelor,” “American Idol,” “Survivor”  and “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” it seems there is nothing left to create a  new show with — nothing with too much violence, that is.

With today’s release of  “The Hunger Games” film, quite a stir has risen. It is based upon the whole idea of using violence for entertainment and control purposes. In a totalitarian government, 24 teenagers are forced to fight to the death on live TV. The death scenes are described in detail and have caused some parents to worry about their children reading such violent books.

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Violence in the "Hunger Games" novels has caused concern for those who wonder how it will translate into a PG-13 movie.
Casmin Giles, 20, from Atlanta, Ga., and studying advertising, said she loved the books but her father did not like the violence in them.

“When my dad read ‘The Hunger Games’ he said he thought it was a genius idea but he didn’t like it because he thought it was too violent,” Giles said.  “Personally when I read it, I didn’t even notice it because in my life I have never seen that type of violence, so what I picture in my head is edited. When you watch it on the big screen all the sudden that becomes reality, more so than what you could have come up with yourself.”

Whitney Moss has been fascinated with both reading and movies ever since she can remember. She said she loves analyzing those mediums and considers them to be different forms of art.

“The director is the one who creates the story in a movie,” Moss said. “The question ‘is the violence appropriate for the intended audience?’ is yes. It may not be appropriate for the intended audience of the book, but the director may have an entirely different audience in mind than kids at whose reading level the book was written.”

Moss has several young neighbors who enjoying reading the books. One, Emma Garlitz, 14, is a huge fan of “The Hunger Games,” and said the PG-13 rating was spot on and OK for teenagers.

“Yes, it is about kids killing other kids but I think it’s really just like what you think about it,” Garlitz said. “For me, its more like I don’t really picture the violence, I just see a girl trying to survive.”

William McGreaham, an avid reader himself, was not too influenced by the violence in “The Hunger Games.”

“Most of the violence was fairly docile in the book, with the possible exception of some over-zealous wasps,” McGreaham said. “I personally don’t feel that the level of violence in ‘Hunger Games’ is inappropriate for a younger audience as far as the novel is concerned.”

Unlike some of his younger fans, McGreaham didn’t find the books to be overall satisfying.

“As far as if kids should be reading this stuff, my only caution would be that it felt like the story fell apart in book three … so that’s disappointing,” McGreaham said.

As a typical freshman, Steven Brown, from Springville, only has one thing on his mind: Taylor Swift. When asked what he was most excited about for ‘The Hunger Games,” his only response was a short one:

“T-Swift soundtrack, hands down.”

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