New York Times‘ Chief Film Critics examine why Katniss Everdeen could a new Female Warrior:
And also now Katniss. She is different, though, not only because she is a woman but also because she is anything but a free, rootless figure of the wilderness. The paradise she comes from has been colonized and enclosed. It looks like Daniel Boone’s Kentucky, but it has been given the soulless bureaucratic name District 12. She is transported to an artificial garden where the beasts are special effects, and cameras record every moment of solitude or intimacy. There she fights for her life, and for kin and home, cruelly pitted against other children who are doing the same.
All of this means that, as she sprints through the forest, Katniss is carrying the burden of multiple symbolic identities. She’s an athlete, a media celebrity and a warrior as well as a sister, a daughter, a loyal friend and (potential) girlfriend. In genre terms she is a western hero, an action hero, a romantic heroine and a tween idol. She is Natty Bumppo, Diana the chaste huntress of classical myth, and also the synthesis of Harry Potter and Bella Swan — the Boy Who Lived and the Girl Who Must Choose.
Ms. Collins’s novels are able to fuse all of these meanings into a credible character embedded in an exciting and complex story. I think, in spite of some shortcomings, that the movie also succeeds where it counts most, which is in giving new and die-hard fans a Katniss they can believe in.
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(Source: NY Times)