Why Next 'Hunger Games' Film Will Upset Political Elites
With news of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One set to debut its official trailer at Comic Con, political elites will again face harsh criticism.
As Sensei, I've seen how box office trends can come and go, but The Hunger Games was truly the "industry game-changer" political elites in Hollywood all feared. It accomplished what box office hits Twilight and 300 couldn't do--it changed the entire scope of the film industry.
In 2012, the original Hunger Games was released into an industry heavily saturated with progressive films, an industry more invested in promoting the next anti-war Green Zone, rather than expand film franchise opportunities.
In fact, The Hunger Games posted one of the biggest openings in box office history.
Many were left scrambling to explain such an event. The film didn't have big names, and book adaptations usually don't go that big in openings. Despite all this, progressive filmmakers remained tone deaf to what was really happening around them.
The Hunger Games' success had as much to do with timing as audience demographics. Much of our youth, through Hollywood's offerings, had been bombarded with Obama-like fever for years. The so called "youth movement" was essential to Obama's election victory in 2008, but had lost considerable steam heading into the next election cycle in 2012. Many promises were made to the youth, and many were never accomplished.
The only thing missing was something to "capture" the youth's disappointment in all things "big government," and the ever-oppressive expanding state. Enter The Hunger Games. The film's young heroine Katniss Everdeen battles just that, and does so in the name of individual freedom.
The Hunger Games had set a perfect trap for the political elites controlling Hollywood, they initially praised the film for its success and viewed the film as a clear example of class warfare: "the gap between the rich and poor," and so on. This conception would have worked fine, but only by ignoring real life history completely.
While many different themes exist in the original Hunger Games book by Suzanne Collins, the film version clearly finds its bearings in the French Revolution. More appropriately, during the infamous "reign of terror." It was during this time that an expanded government sought out, and quickly executed, any who opposed their control on affairs. You'll find this connection clearly in the way many of the government officials and their crony allies are portrayed in The Hunger Games. Lavish costumes, overbearing make-up, the film could have easily showcased these images in the French's own history.
In the end, the "reign of terror" only ended when the people grew bored with the spectacle of mass executions, and instead revolted against the ones' responsible. This is clearly seen in The Hunger Games where the televised event, one that forces selected individuals to kill each other, is only useful in controlling the population for so long.
But the true genius of The Hunger Games is that the solution doesn't come from an a government controlled faction, but from someone outside the government's control. Tapping into the vein that made Star Wars the successes it is, younger generations have been given their Luke Skywalker-like figure to root for, and see firsthand the harm an infringing government (the French's reign of terror) can do to its populace. All in the name of "serving the people."
For the political elites who want to expand government further, and expand more control over American's everyday lives, a Katniss Everdeen isn't welcome news. They would prefer more cooperation from the nation's youth, not a Katniss-like fight for individual freedom.
Hence, why The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One will be inconvenient to political elites. The sequel's focus is now almost entirely on the struggle against the oppressive government. Combined disappointment in Obama and a stark history lesson of the years following the French Revolution, will only discourage any Obama-like fever further. Our youth is instead learning to look past the spectacle of the government's hand and fight for what truly matters.
And considering the massive box office profits the Hunger Games franchise generates, that fight isn't going away any time soon.