Not having children of my own, I hardly have my pulse on the Young Adult reading public. Yet I’d assumed most tweens would feel as I do about the Hunger Games books – that the first was by far the best and that, by Mockingjay (the third), the series had devolved into a grim distillation of Marxist theory with a light dusting of romance. (Okay, maybe I didn’t think the tweens in my life would articulate it that way.) Instead, at least two twelve-year-old girls in my life have solemnly informed me that Mockingjay is their favorite. This admittedly unscientific sample suggests I may have underestimated this demographic. Unfamiliar with radical political theory though they may be, these kids want to learn.
So perhaps I am wrong in assuming that “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” won’t find many fans. After all, the film is quite good – if also the darkest and least accommodating in the series so far. It is certainly the most meta: an indictment of media, totalitarianism, and the commodification of revolutionary heroes. This almost compensates for Lionsgate’s blatantly greedy choice to split the book into two movie installments, as does the intensely bleak note on which Part 1 concludes. No happy endings here, folks. Get Hollywood on the horn! Continue Reading →