KATNISS EVERDEEN, the 16-year-old “Hunger Games” warrior who has torn through the box office, is one of the most radical female characters to appear in American movies. The film’s stunning success can partly be explained by the print sales of Suzanne Collins’s trilogy of young-adult novels, which jumped to more than 36.5 million in March from 16 million in November, suggesting that the anticipation for the film was feeding demand for the books. At the same time there’s more to Katniss fever than page-screen synergy. Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott, the chief film critics of The New York Times, examine this complex, at times contradictory character.
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