The face of Hunger Games: Jennifer Lawrence

An original editorial by Tanvi Berwah

It wasn’t quite brimstone and hellfire, but The Hunger Games took over the literary scene with quite a celebration.

Here we have, this brand new conception. Or is it? “Hey, that’s Battle Royale!” were brewing accusations on Suzanne Collins’ awe-inspiring dystopian story. It’s only because it’s much more than Battle Royale and Star Wars that The Hunger Games today commands as much respect from fans as from critics.

When we look at it, the plot is strong and draws the reader in, maybe not so much every characterization though. Katniss Everdeen, the protaganist, started off as feminist’s delight: she’s strong, independent, determined, a survivor but ultimately succumbed to helpless despair. She is, therefore, a true character. Drawn from real life. She is believable and she is strong. We would love to be her! We would love to be fawned over by a Peeta and a Gale.

Yet under this larger than life character’s anticipation, the fans were nervous: their beloved heroine could be butchered by the bigwigs in Hollywood. And when the announcement came that Jennifer Lawrence, a blonde curvy and gorgeously pretty – a girl’s girl at heart, hell broke loose.

Or so it seemed as fans erupted bad-mouthing someone they’d only seen under the glitz and glam of red-carpets.

thumb_CC2011-027“She can never be Katniss!”

“She’s blonde! And curvy!”

“She can never be Katniss!”

And it continued. Fans can be passionate, it became obvious. Lionsgate started off with a great marketing strategy and online popularity and anticipation for the movie sky-rocketed. But they also probably underestimated the real power of fans, and the strong voices that could drown everything else.

thumb_WB-still-004 Slowly, people came to resign to the twitter hashtag: #JenIsKatniss. Many still disapporved strongly, and were vocal, but most of the fandom began to see what an amazing actress Jennifer is after having seen Winter’s Bone. She was Katniss in it.

Jennifer Lawrence’s next avatar as Mystique in X-Men brought another round of approval, she looked so Mystique. Surely, we can trust Hollywood make-up artists, they began to speculate.thumb_xmenstill-004

As time passed and more acceptance (and strong disapprovals too) came for Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Lots of arguments for and against, but it really doesn’t matter now, we had the first look at Jennifer in her Katniss garb on the cover of Entertainment Weekly:

Official Katniss

A sudden flurry, a sudden shock and all opinions turned over in the minute this cover was revealed. There were opinions, every word that came forth was of the sudden change of mind – “Hey, she looks brilliant! She’s amazing!” and more profoundly:

Cy: Nice! Wow, Jen looks a lot more Katniss-like than I imagined. W/o her round cheeks, you can see the sort of sharp, high-cheekboned elegance of Katniss in her. Not bad, casting ppl!

What I, personally, thought was “Oh MY GOD!!!” and stared at the cover for a second. It couldn’t be? Really? But she looks like they pulled out Katniss from the books!

Still, there were people disapproving, picking on the fact that Jennifer is “too pretty.” I have to say: standards of beauty and perfection vary. But even so, isn’t Katniss pretty? Don’t you think she is dazzling when she is introduced in front of the Capitol people?

Nonetheless, she represents the Mockingjay that probably comes from knowing what it feels like:

‘I feel like a rag doll. I have hair and makeup people coming to my house every day and putting me in new, uncomfortable, weird dresses and expensive shoes, and I just shut down and raise my arms up for them to get the dress on, and pout my lips when they need to put the lipstick on.’ And we both started laughing because that’s exactly what it’s like for Katniss in the Capitol. She was a girl who’s all of a sudden being introduced to fame. I know what that feels like to have all this flurry around you and feel like, ‘Oh, no, I don’t belong here.’”

Katniss Everdeen is here. As Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart, Keira Knightley, Liv Tyler have come to be the face of Harry Potter, Twilight, Pirates, Lord of the Rings – so will we all know Jennifer Lawrence as the face of The Hunger Games.