Monday, August 27, 2012
The Hunger Games
On the surface, this film would seem to be a very simplistic tale. I know at the time of its release, there was a fair amount of criticism about the content in The Hunger Games. Several pundits suggested it was the same typical trash that Hollywood produces to undermine the morals and values of our young people. As the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. Perhaps, the question the critics should have been asking is why did this film connect with so many people, especially teenagers. As a Christian, I see this film as an opportunity to build bridges and explore complex issues that’s facing our youth today.
I realize that most young people are not fighting for their lives in a literal sense today; however, in a metaphoric sense, I think they are in a battle for survival. Our society forces young people to grow up way too early. There’s too much pressure to succeed. If you don’t get the right grades, you don’t get into the right schools; therefore, your life becomes a failure. Young people feel an enormous amount of pressure to get to the top no matter the cost. Perhaps, in one sense that is the reason they have identified with this film.
The Hunger Games offers something for everybody. Its story is complex and textured with multiple layers of meaning. If you are a conservative, there’s a message concerning the evils of big government. If you are a liberal, there is the message of the rich and powerful exploiting the work of the working class to their advantage.
The Hunger Games is also a hopeful movie. Even when things go terribly wrong, someone stands up and does the right thing. Throughout history, this has been the case. In this film, Katniss is our hero and champion. She places others before her needs. She becomes a sacrifice and ultimately will become “the one” who will redeem a society that has gone wrong.
The Hunger Games is a film that’s worth your time and investment. It’s a great movie for discussion and dialogue. I think the film is saying something important about society and our future. Suzanne Collins wrote the hunger games as part one of a trilogy so we will not get the entire story in this first installment.
It’s my understanding that the remaining chapters will be divided into three feature films. It’s too early to say whether or not The Hunger Games will join the ranks of other classic trilogies such as The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars; however, I have a feeling it’s going to be a safe bet.