Imagine it. You've heard whispers of rebellion in the districts. Murmurs of lowly citizens committing the unthinkable crime of fighting Peacekeepers. You, your family, and friends have already scraped past with the bare minimum, and now President Snow's out for more. More work. More dedication. More blood. Suddenly your "Holo-screens" gleam white, and the images of various 'heroes' who have won the favor of the Capitol are praised as model citizens for their hard work and dedication. What did the Capitol promise them if they played their hand right? They've certainly done a job of swathing their suffering in artifice, but the things they can't mask are the harsh cold nights on the shoreline in 4, electrified fences lining 9 for the 'wrongdoings' of your forefathers, or the weight of coal and concrete as it collapses all around you in the mines... All to cloak Capitol citizens in comforts they never earned. Or maybe it isn't like you think. Maybe citizens in the Capitol can feel the weight of betrayal and injustice on their shoulders as well. Maybe they're tense in the silence of their elaborately designed homes waiting for the Mockingjay to burn Snow's rose garden to the ground.
I've had a full night to take in these beautiful propaganda posters that 'the Capitol' released yesterday and it makes me a bit emotional to be honest. Over the past say, ten years or so, I've watched YA adaptation after YA adaptation release, gross millions of dollars, and yet still lack a certain sincerity that comes when it's producers care more about making a dollar than treating the narrative that means so much to the fans with care. This is not to say that Lionsgate hasn't scored hugely with the massive success of The Hunger Games franchise. But from FADE IN of the first film I saw something that I haven't seen in a lot of other epic young adult adaptations: rawness. It didn't feel like a numbing adventure meant to entertain us with huge action sequences for action's sake, or beefed up love triangles, or overly dramatized dialogue. It felt like they were introducing us to a young girl who made an unfathomable decision to save her sister in an environment as lavish as a palace, yet as macabre as a mausoleum. Literally our world as seen through Suzanne Collins, with all of its depth, deception, love, and hope. All of this said, I digress.
The release of these propaganda posters show me that the wonder team behind this franchise truly understands the meat of the story. They understand that as much as we all adore the beautiful love that is Katniss and Peeta (had to go there, cough), it is a story about injustice, and more, choosing to stand against it. The films could never stand true if the producers and actors didn't fully grasp it's profundity. A really great article points out that the producers didn't even showcase the main characters during the week of their first major leak, but instead chose to make a portion of promotion about the citizens who are oppressed. The citizens who are preparing to war against their slave driven Capitol and a desperate president trying every last ditch effort to unite the districts because he knows his days are numbered.
Like everyone else, I wanted a trailer (and thankfully they've promised to end our agony sometime next week...hopefully), but these beautiful WW II reminiscent posters show that the producers care as much for the integrity of the story as we do. That they won't sacrifice quality for superfluous gimmicks. We wanted a great series, and they've decided to throw us right smack dab in the center of Panem.
I hadn't planned on writing this next bit now, but with the last scene of the entire series now wrapped I have to join in with fellow fans all over the world and three-finger-salute Suzanne Collins, Gary Ross, Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Willow Shields (the entire team), for believing in great storytelling, and working so hard to give us a truly phenomenal series. (Harry Potter aside--we all know that's a masterpiece!) The Hunger Games series is pretty much my favorite series at this point, and with all of the subpar adaptations out there, I'm not sure I had high hopes for this one. But thanks to these wonderful people, they have renewed my hope that my favorite books can be captured in an elegant and profound way. Words really cannot express how beyond pleased I've been with this series, and I know the next two films will leave me stunned and breathless in the theater (all six times I see it :-).
P.S. Did you guys see our fab four huddled together?