A brief comment on The Hunger Games

April 05, 2012 / by / 0 Comment

Mr. Xunshine (Mr. X) and I went to see The Hunger Games last Sunday, and a couple of things stood out to us.

1.  The seats at AMC weren’t cuddle-friendly at all, but that’s not important.  Not really.

2.  The Tributes are not unlike Roman gladiators, except that they are probably younger and live in a different time.  In the film, victors are celebrated, but remembrance for the dead lasts as little time as it takes to fire a canon.  In the Game, human lives are only numbers.

3.  Life is a fashion runway for the people of the Capitol.  Appearances are a priority, and everyone is dressed to the nines.  Contrast this with the frumpy Sunday bests worn by the District teens during the Reaping.  This is an obvious reference to the growing rich / poor divide, and dominating presence of consumerism (the Districts provide for the material needs of the Capitol).  The Capitol’s superficial obsession with decadence and reality shows also distances them from the realities of their own lives.  It makes them less human.  This is supported by their indifference towards (and, perhaps, even celebration of) the loss of life in the Games.

Okay, we’re probably reading a little too much into teenage fiction, but I think this movie does a pretty good job at exploring the darker side of humanity, e.g. the value of human life, materialism, and alienation.  Anyone who sees the film, and is aware of such themes, would probably feel compelled to reflect on his / her own life and morals, if only just for a second.