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.
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