Dec 15, 2013

Unpolished review of hunger games 2

Warning:  LOTS OF SPOILERS

Hunger games part 2 manages to be one of the few movies that is better than its book. While the book was laden with unnecessary details and confusing plot lines, the movie is clean. You only lose interest once, when the details of the game are too confusing.
I really like Collin's theme of what wars do to people. The yearly tribute reminds one of the ancient Greek story of Theseus and the Minotaur. However, Collins has gone one step ahead from the chest thumping victory that Theseus ends with. With any war, the cycle of violence does not stop, it goes on and on. MInos had begun the tradition of tributes because his son had been killed by Aegeans before, and this was his revenge. Theseus' story posits Theseus as the hero and Minos as the tyrant. masking the cycle of violence before it. Theseus kills Minotaur, but leaves deserts his lover Ariadne, starting another cycle, of which his father's death was merely a part. To come back to Hunger games, Katniss and her allies are again projected as heroes, and we know nothing of the history that went before it. But even after Katniss has vanquished one game, she is pushed into another. And when she vanquishes even the second attempt at her life., finally, her faction itself turns oppressor. She has thus effectively started another cycle of violence.
Collins' book is not a happy one, right from page one itself. But this pessimistic conclusion about the cycle of violence is effective because rings true.I read somewhere that Collins' aim was to portray how war affects children, and through Katniss' brittle, hardened personality, she succeeds. And she has done more than that. Katniss strikes at the "real enemy." While Theseus and his like always believed ending one evil was ending evil forever, Katniss, (in the third book, I am taking leaps here) lashes out at the entire system by targeting the one who gives orders. Her enemy is the dystopia in her society, not a person. Collins deserves the credit for taking the focus away from this narrow black and white view of war and towards the big picture.
Another important theme in this movie that touched me was Katniss' love life. She is attracted to two people at the same time, or alternately, however you like . Unlike twilight, the book that first became famous for this theme, Katniss' story does not stretch your imagination or your patience. You understand every bit of her feelings. She feels differently for both these men, and yet, both are important to her her, in different ways, at different times. She struggles with her feelings, and so do we. Why isn't it ok for her to value two different people in different ways? Why should she be forced to choose, eventually? I think her choice, when it comes in the end (in the third book, again) was only inevitable because of our social rules of monogamy. Her feelings don't end, or would not, in real life. The fact that Collins makes them end for one person is, to me, reflective of real life: we are forced to make a choice at some point, when in our hearts, all we want is for things to stay the same with everyone we value and care about.

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