A film franchise like The Hunger Games doesn’t become the global epic that it has, without bringing heavy themes to the screen.
Approaching ideas of war, death, freedom and love, the content of this series pushes the boundaries of ‘young adult entertainment’—yet it’s surprisingly timely for its audience.
In this 4th and final instalment, heroine Katniss Everdeen, aka The Mockingjay, is tiring of her role as the face of a revolution. The situation in Panem has worsened, as evil dictator President Snow creates an even greater divide between the upper and lower classes.
Having fought to protect her family for so long, Katniss decides it’s time to end Snow’s reign for good, and leads a violent battle charge to his headquarters.
Fans of the book and films alike will know Mockingjay Part 2 is the final crescendo in Everdeen’s ‘revolt against the man’ – violence is stepped up, guns are bigger, and there are more lives at stake. So this flick is clearly not one for littlies.
More To The Mockingjay Than Violence
But there’s more to this film than violence. There’s a real depth to Katniss and her approach to her seemingly hopeless circumstance.
Making choices no young person should have to, she’s in a valley of moral corruption.
Touted as the ‘face of the revolution’ for her defiance to the Capitol, Katniss has been the mouthpiece for marketers of a movement.
Used to incite rebellion and support the political ideologies of her supporters, Katniss’ struggle is balancing the preservation of her values, with instructions that compromise her beliefs.
Taking lives, risking the security of her family, and making choices no young person should have to, she’s in a valley of moral corruption. It’s hard, it’s tense, and she’s had enough.
Heroine Katniss Shows Maturity Beyond Her Years
Now while her violence can’t be praised, Katniss’ response to her discomfort shows a maturity young fans could look up to. Keenly aware of what’s influencing her decisions – commands from the Capitol, social pressures, cultural obligation, family – Katniss puts a stop to those who challenge her true motivations, and returns to her core beliefs.
Realigning her behaviour with her values, she fights against mindless subjugation, and makes her stance known.
It’s a refreshing example of a female role model, standing far in front of what viewers witness in Twilight or the like. The question remains though: do audiences agree with how Katniss raises the issues of her cause?
A Film That Reflects Our Times
Looking around our world as issues of terrorism, border control, and asylum seekers reign, it’s worth considering – what is permissible in the fight to preserve life and affirm personal belief?
Timely to our generation, The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2 presents some really relevant themes that demand our attention.
For parents of children viewing the film though, the question is whether this is the right platform to deliver those themes, and whether your kids are ready to take it all in.
If they’re mature enough, then consider going along with them. It’s bound to spark some really meaningful conversation.