Let's Discuss: Five 'Mockingjay: Part 1' Concerns And The 'Hunger Games' Franchise (In General)

If you’ve read Eclectic Pop’s review of the latest installment in the Hunger Game series (click here to read), you probably know where this is going. Since a review can only go so far, this companion piece aims to dig deeper with 5 specific issues that encumbered “Mockingjay: Part 1” and hamper the Hunger Games franchise, in general.

The Real Katniss

Katniss is broken and openly tormented, a soul that has seen grave turmoil and as a role model for survival, she’s positively fitting. As a kick-ass heroine who emits an inner strength and tough demeanor, she falls flat. She doesn’t possess the forceful will of a strong heroine. Nor does she come across as a leader. The most puzzling and frustrating aspect of the series is that characters insist she possesses the latter quality in droves.

Why Should We Care About Prim? 

After three movies, one of the underlying mysteries of the series is why, besides her being the sister of the main protagonist, we should particularly care about Prim. She hasn’t done anything worthwhile or heroic to prove worthy of all of the fuss. She doesn't even seem to grasp or demonstrate gratitude for the depth of Katniss' tremendous sacrifice on her behalf.

To add insult to injury in “Mockingjay: Part 1” she risks her life and by extension Katniss’ to save her cat. Her priorities in the war zone are severely underwhelming. Where is the kid who’s grown up too fast under adult circumstances? She is childish beyond belief. As a character, Prim often appears to be nothing more than a plot device.

What is the Prime Directive of the “Good Guys”?

For all of the talk of revolt and the need to rebel against the Capital, the “good guys” have not offered a lot of insight into how they plan to improve the living conditions of the Districts. The apparent train of thought is that anything other than the Capital is the solution.

However, without the Districts being knowledgeable as to the founding principles of the new regime, their efforts can only be seen as futile. Lastly, why has there been no talk of a democratic election? Instead everyone is shown rallying to replace one dictatorship with another.

Peeta and Katniss = No Love Story 

Throughout “Mockingjay” Katniss is repeatedly told that she is in love with Peeta and this revelation is about as easy to swallow as shards of glass. Her indifference and forced affection towards him is about as lacking in passion as you can possibly get.

There is no visible or viable romance. Despite her screams for his safety, there has never been a shared moment between them in the entire franchise that has ever felt slightly genuine. It’s a shame because portraying a love that’s learned, rather than the ever popular notion of a love at first sight connection would’ve been a powerful story to see play out. 

Effie, the Make-Up and the Wardrobe

As Effie reunites with her pals at District 13 headquarters she bemoans the loss of her wardrobe and beautification paraphernalia. It is hard to take the plight of a woman longing for her clown wig and make-up seriously. If she worked at Ringling Bros. it would make sense that she had lost her identity. Otherwise it breaks credulity. One of the problems facing the conceptualization of the Capital is that their wardrobe is so distractingly surreal, they appear vividly cartoonish.

It’s hard to imagine that a mass populace would find looking like circus performers appealing. Further distracting from any of the reality the movies attempt to periodically inject, no one mentions to Effie that she would look better with a major make under. Hopefully the last movie will include a transformation for her that incorporates her unique style and celebrates her natural self.

1 comment

  1. Good points. I didn't think about these things while watching the movie. I know all those little tidbits from reading the books. I guess I kind of just assumed the details of the story from having read it, but they weren't really present in the movie.

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