Released tells him in The Hunger Games

Released in 2012 and directed by Gary Ross, The Hunger
Games, is a film imperative to understanding how the society; more so the
American society, has changed since the release of Working Girl in the late
1980’s. The film features Actress Jenifer Lawrence in the role of Katniss
Everdeen- a plucky teenage girl who runs the household, hunts in the forests
and fends for her family. And Actor Josh Hutcherson as her (uncanny by societal
standards) love interest, Peeta Mellark. As a character, Katniss Everdeen
glistens in the light of self-dependence and valor, however what’s truly
remarkable about the film is how it goes against the normative ‘Damsel in
Distress and the Knight in shining armor’ rhetoric. If Katniss is a deliberate
departure from the classic romantic heroine, happier carving up a deer in the
forest than being on display in a dress on stage, Peeta also seems carefully
calibrated to subvert assumptions about how a male love interest should look
and behave. Katniss is the hunter while Peeta is the baker — she’s the skilled
archer where his skills lie in camouflage. Katniss rushes into action while
Peeta is better with strategy and PR.1

There are other ways in which the stereotypical gender
traits and roles are swapped for Katniss and Peeta. In the film, Peeta admits
that even his mother sees Katniss as stronger than he is. Peeta’s camouflage
expertise come from his experience with cake decorating, and he plays forager
in the arena while she goes in search of meat. He’s emotional and expressive
while she’s sullen and closed off — “I’m not good at ‘saying something,'”2  she tells him in The Hunger Games Arena. He’s
the more fragile one, getting seriously wounded by one of the Careers in the film.
In casting Hutcherson as Peeta, the film makers have also paired Lawrence with
an actor who she’s actually taller than, a height difference most evident when
the stars are lined up at premieres. However, that is not a blow to his
masculinity and never do we see Peeta ashamed of his physical stature, talents
and abilities.

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This film shows how the Western World is on the verge
of a shift in gender representations and is moving towards a more gender
egalitarian society.