Conservatives can’t seem to decide whether the mega blockbuster Hunger Games is a rhetorical nod to the Right or Left; whether it represents a condemnation of the rich oppressing the poor, pushing a socialist utopia as the only answer to the world’s problems; Or whether it is a conservative condemnation of an elite, gibbering Left controlling the media—a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, individualistic call for a love of freedom from out-of-control government and a twisted MSM narrative. The answer is there is a smorgasbord for both factions, but I think it leans largely to one side.
Before we delve into the possible political messages of this film, let us take a moment to dispense with some technical issues for cinematic purists. The film is a cinematic feast for the eyes and, for us males, a physical feast for the eyes in the form of Jennifer Lawrence, who is breathtakingly beautiful. The film, once we are freed from the Metrosexual, totalitarian elite society, constantly gorging and preening themselves, and delve into the forest and two main characters, treats us to a cinematic feast of both the human face and nature.
The film consists largely in extreme closeups of the human face, giving us an intensity of emotion likening back to auteur George Stevens, exemplified in his 1951 masterpiece A Place in the Sun. With his closeups of the star-crossed lovers Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, we are served with a two-way conduit of intense motion between actor and audience that I think, in Hunger Games surpasses A Place in the Sun only in the fact that cinematic technology can now produce such a vivid, colorful, fast-moving image that couldn’t be achieved technically in 1950s.
Most closeup shots use a very large lens, producing a short depth of field on the human face, increasing the perceived emotional connection between actor and actor and actor and audience. The audience, ironically, wants the film to end because the emotional intensity is so strong that it is almost unbearable. They will, of course, seek to see the film again, and drag those whom they love to share in this visual feast, which is why the “camp out” parties to buy tickets seem to be growing rather than waning as time goes on. I may be going overboard hagiographically, but for those of us who do not generally go to see “blockbuster” films that are big on special effects and short on story, acting or anything else—a vomit trough for the public—exemplified in the badly acted, trite-messaged Spiderman movies that are forgotten once the next installment or merchandising campaign begins—for those of us who don’t see these types of movies, this film was a visual and emotional celebration.
Okay, let’s get into the possible political messages of the film. Before we do, let us preface by saying that the good news is I believe the movie has a perceived and planned conservative message, which I think is exemplified in the almost bit part in the role that uber-liberal, anti-Palin propaganda film poster boy of Game Change Woody “Republican talk makes me weep for humanity” Harrelson is given. Like all Hollywood elite that feel they have a higher moral higher ground to force feed us their totalitarian views on and off screen, Harrelson’s role is, like all his other film roles, mediocre at best, so I won’t discuss it much. I will say that the normal political sycophantic nod to uber-liberal actors is not dished up in this movie, which I think, aside from the political message of the film, gives an unstated memorandum from the filmmakers to the audience that they are on the side of Americans—conservative Americans, rather than what Andrew Breitbart called the DMC (Democrat Media Complex): America-hating, Islamic terrorist-apologizing, socialist-loving, politically correct ‘hate speech’ police mindset exemplified in one Barack Hussein Obama. The other good news is that this film review will give us a chance to discuss the Radical-in-Chief Obama outside of the normal political purview.
Let us first kneel at the trough of a Leftist, “Progressive” interpretation: The film presents a society which is the Leftist pre-socialist soft revolution’s wet dream: Capitalism has run amok so that there are only two classes of people: an elite rich dwelling in a city simply referred to as the Capitol, whose inhabitants constantly gorge themselves on food, drink and media. This group of people oppress the only other class, those living in crushing poverty, hunger and fourteen-hour work days, cut off from each other in 12 Districts by barbed wire and surveillance.
They are not only oppressed economically, but are fed into a meat grinder of war among themselves, each District offering annually a “sacrifice” of two individuals, male and female, ages twelve to eighteen, in which the winner—that is the survivor—gets to go back home alive, while the others are murdered, starved, or torn apart by beasts created by the elites.
This socialist wet dream could be taken out a textbook liberal monologue, in which the narrative is that capitalism left to itself will run amok until the rich, the evil corporations, and any group that dares to be successful economically will gorge itself until there are only two classes—very rich and very poor. Not satisfied with oppressing the poor economically, through a police state they must fence them into ghettos and keep them in line with a strong police presence and helicopters flying high overhead. Those that wish to escape the ghettos can “volunteer” for military service, where a disproportionate number are of a lower income. That the Hitler-like George W. Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s of the world, with their connections to Big Oil and the Military Complex are making money off of the blood of our young men and women. That the only way to subvert this spiraling polarization of economic inequality is to stop the capitalistic system dead in its tracks. To guarantee economic equality—a “living wage” in the Left’s vernacular (meaning guaranteeing everyone a job). Guaranteeing healthcare. A college education. A home. That this all can be achieved by central planning. By appointing very smart bureaucrats and technocrats (the people with high IQs that the MSM blathered about President-elect Obama surrounding himself with before they actually had to do anything in the real world). That yes, central planning, centralized government (i.e., communism/socialism) has been attempted and has failed many times in the past. But this time, with the right people with high IQs, with the correct regulations written (à la ObamaCare), this time they will get it right.
This is, I think, a possible interpretation of the political message presented in Hunger Games; but, like the real world socialist/communist theory, is false. We find that the more we move toward Obama’s European socialism; the more power is centralized; the more society is regulated, the more impoverished America becomes. Poverty has rather increased under Obama’s crushing central planners. That the further we “guarantee” the outcome of economic equality, with food stamps, welfare, healthcare, unemployment insurance, subsidized education, housing, etc., the more stagnant the economy becomes.
The meat grinder of war under a Republican president is simply a farce. We all remember the Anti-War movement that blathered on about “Big Oil” Bush as Hitler and Dick Cheney’s corporate connections to the war machine. But strangely the anti-war movement suddenly became generally silent once “Progressives” took control of Congress and the White House. Per Andrew Breitbart, the Left’s anti-war movement simply switched masks, and are now Obama’s storm troopers in the Occupy rabble. Further, Obama has embroiled us in so many wars and wants to march us further, not even bothering to consult what he considers an irrelevant Congress. Obama makes Bush look like a pacifist with his interjection of the United States into any conflict with an anti-American underdog. Charges of unethical corporate connections that were fired on Bush and Cheney versus Obama’s corporate cronyism of Solyndra and the dozens of clones (we won’t even talk about his Wall Street connections) could be likened to a Bush/Cheney light salad compared to a pig going to the trough to eat up taxpayers’ billions in “Green” energy, corporate and union bailouts, and the dozens of other vomitoriums this President is involved in.
Now I think the more correct interpretation of Hunger Games is rather the less obvious but actually more prevalent theme of the film, which is of an elite that creates and controls a media narrative. The media spectacle that is the annual Hunger Games is consumed and gorged by the hedonistic Capitol consumers in a blathering Academy Award-style showcase and is watched distastefully by the poor in the 12 Districts. Not only do the elites create this spectacle, but being very far advanced technologically, can create something out of nothing—literally. There is a technological war room where all the Hunger Game contestants—“tributes,” as they are called—are constantly watched, taunted, and controlled. Through this high-tech war room and three dimensional map of the Hunger Games area, huge dog-like creatures are created out of nothing, taking on a digital form in the war room, which then materialize in the forest and mountains where the Hunger Games take place, ripping apart those the elites see as not providing suitable entertainment to keep the hedonist consumers gorged and the lower classes in despair.
The film’s creation of a media disgorgement could be interpreted as a direct analogue to the MSM—case in point of an Academy Award-style show: Rush Limbaugh who had the gall to utter the words “whore” and “slut” regarding Obama contraception poster girl Sandra Fluke and who Obama lectured the nation about the filth reaching his daughter’s virgin ears. This Academy Award performance, including a tête-à-tête phone call of the Apologizer-in-Chief to Sandra Fluke, went on for days with the pinnacle coming when Vietnam soldier back stabber and communist sympathizer “Hanoi” Jane Fonda, along with Obama front groups Media Matters and ThinkProgress calling for Rush “hate speech” Limbaugh to be taken off the air. The MSM, hypocritically, did not simply spend a lot of time on the constant misogyny and racism coming from the Left, but completely and utterly buried it. If not for what Andrew Breitbart called the New Media, Rush Limbaugh would have been strung up to the nearest gallows. Instead the New Media called Obama’s bluff, putting together video and textual compilations of much worse said by Bill Maher, David Letterman, Ed Schulz, and a host of others, who Obama and the Obamabots embraced—literally in the case of Letterman. Obama has now slithered back into his shell, distancing himself from his hypocrisy.
Secondly, not only does Hunger Games provide a real-world basis for the elite being a symbol for the MSM and political elites, but the MSM and politicians make it a habit of creating something from nothing, case in point the “Republican War on Women,” and more recently the Treyvon Martin shooting by a “white supremacist bigot.” The narrative was that a “white” bigot hunted down a black role model teenager. That the MSM embraced the mob rule atmosphere by refusing to actually do any reporting other than pointing their cameras on those who wanted to incite race riots and increase gun regulation. The New Black Panthers are actually going around calling for the shooter, George Zimmerman, to be murdered, with a mob rule message of “Wanted Dead or Alive,” emblazoned on posters. Of course, the rotten-to-the-core political elite in Hunger Games could be a direct counterpart to Eric Holder’s rotten-to-the-core DOJ, which quickly jumped on to the race riot narrative, and began the Ignore New Black Panther Party Illegality Tour, Part 2, piggybacking on their first corruption, with failing to prosecute the voter intimidation case. If the MSM had not attempted to induce a race riot and would have simply asked the police and looked for an actual witness to the crime, they might have found out that it appears that George Zimmerman was actually attacked. One local news team actually did what an entire MSM corporate machine couldn’t do—see if there was a witness. Oddly, in our free society, the witness is afraid to show his face on camera, for fear his name will be on a New Black Panther poster instead of Zimmerman’s. The witness states, contrary to the Hunger Games-like creation of something out of nothing, that it was Treyvon Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him in the face, with Zimmerman yelling for help, rather than a rogue white supremacist vigilante.
Third, again like the Hunger Games counterpart, the real world media is used to attack and destroy people, case in point the “scoop” offered by Politico last year about the “sexual harassment” charges against Herman Cain. Like the attack dogs in Hunger Games that were created as a single beast in the war room and multiplied when released, the first, single Politico article gave birth to almost one hundred stories in a one-week period, ignoring such “irrelevant” subjects as at least three hundred Mexican Citizens and two dead U.S. agents in the DOJ’s Fast and Furious debacle, Solyndra, and a host of other “unimportant” subjects, mirrored by the remainder of the MSM. Thankfully the smear cost Politico and the MSM a large chunk of their moderate trustworthiness and therefore has, like the boy who cried wolf, lessened its power each time the smear machine begins anew. This particular MSM smear machine operation, of course, was because of the Obama machine’s fear of having to run against someone where the race card couldn’t be played. Once the Alinsky target was eliminated, the attack dogs quietly slithered away, never to be heard from again, only leaving the “Uncle Tom/Oreo” MSNBC blather to remain.
Several of the premises and machinations of the Left: Even though it is obvious that the rich are oppressing the poor, putting them through a military meat grinder—they are too stupid to realize it. And even if they were smart enough to realize it, they are too stupid to do anything about it. That therefore a group of high IQ elites need to create a de facto revolution, a basis of “progressive” (i.e., socialist) laws, rules and regulations. To create an economic crisis, à la Obama mentor and “urban affairs” advisor Peter Drier’s “transitional reforms,” whereby a huge welfare state overburdens then collapses the economic system (with a little salt and pepper of ACORN’s role in the subprime lending fiasco thrown in, forcing banks to to make home loans to those who couldn’t afford it) so that the high IQ’d bureaucrats and technocrats could ride in on their socialist White Horse.
But the implication in Hunger Games is that the stupid masses are not as stupid and powerless as the elites think they are. That like the two main characters in the film, Katniss and Peeta, who possess things the Left loves to hate, like individualism and perseverance. That believe in hard work, loyalty and sacrifice. That love freedom, and have a love and pride of their community. That the implication is that these qualities will overcome the constant disgorgement of the elites at their media vomitoriums. That the 12 District’s inhabitants, and by extension, America, is tiring of being fed a steady diet of scraps at the pig’s trough. That unlike the Left’s view of a stupid mass of humanity, America hungers a government that does not lie to us, deceive us, control us, fence us in, and spend us into oblivion with their constant engorgement. This is the audience of Hunger Games, and this is the hunger of America, that goes back for second and third helpings.