Trouble in Panem
You’ll definitely want to catch the next installment of The Hunger Games, which is done even better than the first film. The arbitrary shaky cam is gone, and the story is tense and moves along at a slightly faster tempo. The characters are true to themselves, and the situation escalates from bad to worse. Catching Fire played to a packed audience, and the crowd stayed with the film to the end.
Donald Sutherland’s stunning call for a revolution aligns with the story itself. The comparisons with America’s slide toward despotism and a police state are intended and striking. Even more so than the first movie, a lot of young people are going to be contemplating political messages embedded in the film. This is not a neutral situation, and neither is our current reality. While we are in no way as oppressive a society as is Panem, we edge continually toward it with each passing power grab in “the capital,” a place nearly as out of touch with average Americans and their plights today.
What delights is the blatant shredding of propaganda, the political exploitation of the manufactured heroes, and how they are stage managed to placate the masses. The thinly-veiled propaganda techniques, such as those used by Stanley Tucci’s character mirror our own TV media reality. There isn’t much difference except for the hyperbolic degree which Panem takes their messaging. Our real world version is far more subtle, far more insidious and yet retains similar goals.
The family can’t wait for the next film, and hopefully it won’t be so long off. Jennifer Lawrence remain truthful, beautiful and powerful, an icon for the next generation.