Posted by: gaiusc | 9 April, 2012

Hunger Games: a Tea Party love letter?

I watched this last week and was expecting it to be cack but it’s actually only half cack. It’s simplistic and juvenile but in fairness, that’s what the books are too and you can hardly blame the filmmakers for sticking with the same target audience as the folk who bought the books.
It is also by turns thrilling and gripping. Jennifer Lawrence, as Katniss, is definitely going to be a star and manages to ground some of the daftness. The set pieces where the hunter becomes the hunted and then hunter again are what will ensure that the film appeals to something other than the Twilight fanbase. Stanley Tucci is fabulously oily as the presenter of the TV show that accompanies the “Games”. Lenny Kravitz might seem to be something of a gimmick casting but he does well as the fashionista who mentors Katniss.
But is that Twilight fanbase the only audience the film is going to appeal to?
Whether by accident or design, Gary Ross may actually have made a modern Tea Party wish fulfillment fantasy, that deliberately or accidentally plays on the various neuroses that afflict this most regressive of movements.

A couple of things that got me wondering about this:
-District 12 is dirt poor, rough as hell, low-skilled manual labouring and thoroughly white. It’s clearly meant to draw parallels with blue-collar heavy-industrial America. They are rednecks and they are clearly the good guys.
-District 11 is dirt poor, rough as hell, low-skilled manual labouring and thoroughly black. It’s clearly meant to draw parallels with rural America. They are good guys because you couldn’t possibly get away with showing black people as bad guys. However, even that concession to political correctness seems to have upset some folk who maintain that the roles should have been cast by white actors, despite the descriptions in the book clearly being of non-white people.
-Capitol is depicted as a little bit gay and it’s clear that they are very bad guys. It’s okay to show gays as bad guys when your target audience are rednecks.
-The district 1, 2, 3 kids are depicted as basically toffs. I bet they speak French, go to Ivy League colleges (if they survive obviously), are fabulously rich and would vote democrat if there were elections in this world. They are also quite bad guys too. This is also fine because rednecks hate them too, especially the speaking French bit.

Is anybody else picking up a bit of a homophobic, class (elites) warfare, tea party, redneck-values-are-good-values vibe off the film?



  1. I think District 2 isnt as good at District 1 and 3… somehow. Foxface was no clove.

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