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Will the Mockingjay Catch Fire?

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Nov. 19, 2014

When I first read “The Hunger Games” series, I thought that it was an entertaining read. However, it wasn’t the writing style that captivated me—if I read one more of Suzanne Collins’ descriptions of lamb or plumb meals, I was going to go batty—but more what the story itself had to say about the mindset of humanity (especially modern humanity in America). 

The decadence of the Capitol, the maliciousness of President Snow (who was perfectly cast with Donald Sutherland), and the horrific nature of the games themselves were so intriguing to me. Part of this is because Collins perfectly paired the gladiatorial arena with reality television and an anti-dictatorship setting. The underlying current of the book was that the government—President Snow— was monstrous because it/he killed people.

Our hero, Katniss, is phenomenally portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence with such depth. Katniss is the feminine version of “Gladiator”. Let’s all remember Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott’s film and what he said when he confronted the Emperor’s brat son (sorry Joaquin—you played it well) in the arena. At first he said, “My name is Gladiator.” He was an anonymous force fighting for justice, but when to answer truthfully who he was, he delivered the bone-chilling response, “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius… Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance in this life or the next.”

I think that is what we can expect from this last two-part conclusion of the series: the answer to the anger of unjust, inhuman killing, nay, murdering of humans. 

Katniss throughout the first portion of the series, leading up to the civil uprising was merely a name—a banner—that people would rally behind. She killed in the arena, and her name was essentially “gladiator”. She led no one, and acted for just herself. 

Where we were left at the end of “Catching Fire” was that she is now not only the banner for the resistance, but she has been brought to into the battle. 

Now, she will be made to find vengeance for the fallen dead. She will be the one to fight for her home destroyed and for her family and for all the people who have suffered greatly.

In short, go to see the film when it airs. Let’s hold it to high standards: the whole trilogy comments on the way the modern world values or does not value life by comparing it to ancient Rome’s falling days. The “Mockingjay - Part 1” should be the full bonfire that the phrase “catching fire” leads us to think on. If we are left to see a war movie, it cannot be just for random acts of violence—we need to continue to see the humanity that is being decimated. What the movie needs to do for us is to build to a pinnacle: show us the fullness of humanity, and show us why it is worth fighting for.

I can’t wait to see if they deliver.