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Not a real adult

Category: Blog
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Written by Zoë Porter Hits: 5646

Spoiler Warning: This text is about the new Hunger Games movie Mockingjay. It contains spoilers on the story. If you haven't seen it yet, and plan on doing so, your probably shouldn't read on!

 

Aparently, I'm not a real adult. Because I recently went to the movies to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. According to BBC's film critic Owen Gleiberman, I am somehow stuck in my teen, and lack a real perspective on the world. Mostly because I liked the film.

Well, in my view, Gliesman didn't understand the film, or maybe it's because I'm biased, because I read the books first. His major complaint is right at the beginning of his text:

 

Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), the high-handed leader of the rebellion, and Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the movement's jaunty minister of propaganda, explain that the proletarian revolt that Katniss ignited now has the chance to take wing. If she can find it within herself to become the icon of revolution known as ‘The Mockingjay’, then the oppressed districts of the dystopian nation Panem will rise up, join forces, and break the fascist grip of the Capitol. Faced with this offer, Katniss seems neither pleased nor particularly incendiary. Instead, with a look of glazed yearning, she wants to know just one thing: "What about Peeta? Is he alive?"

 

If you have seen the first two movies, you know that Katniss' relationship to Peeta is not so much defined by yearning, but by mutual dependence. In the second part, Katniss vows that she would keep Peeta alive, no matter the cost. And she doesn't take that vow so much because her romantic feelings towards him, but because it's the only thing that keeps her going.

Katniss is a broken character. She suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder, and is a mental wreck. One of the defining moments in the films, is when she beds the dead little girl, Rue, onto flowers, to grant her a final moment of dignity. In the films this is depicted as the moment that sparks the revolution. But Katniss is completely unaware of this. She only learns later, that her act has lead to an uprising in Rue's district. In Catching Fire she takes a vow to protect Peeta, for the same reasons: Clining on to her humanity.

The whole twist of the story is that Katniss is not, unlilke Gleiberman suggests, the leader of the revolution. That is what Coin and Plutarch would like her to be. Her concern about Peeta is mainly fueled by her wish not to topple over the edge of sanity.

Yes, The Hunger Games is a young adult novel. And it is for sure not the deepest philosophical work. But to say, as Gleiberman does, it is all about the puppy-love, and put it in the same category as the TwilightTwilight novels, doesn't do it justice either.

 

So, if you haven't seen it, you should. But make sure you have seen parts one and two first, otherwise the story would not make much sense to you. Or, even better, read the books.

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