Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Catching Fire: Science, Technology, and Rebellion

I have been a fan of The Hunger Games trilogy long before the first movie appeared on the big screen, and as a perfectionist, I expected the movie adaptation of Catching Fire to go by the book. While the movie disappointed me in some parts, it still fulfilled its purpose of showing the audience the underlying message of rebellion and, in a way, sacrifice.

            Catching Fire is definitely a science fiction movie. It presented us with a society that is largely affected by science, a more technologically advanced one at that. From the arena to the devices used for viewing The Games back at District 12, science is very much present in the lives of the people in Panem. Even creatures such as the jabberjays have been engineered by a science we can only hope to understand. How people live with science and how they are affected by it can also be seen in the movie, just like how each hour brought a new threat in the Quarter Quell. The film focused on the scientific side of the book as much as it did on the drama and this produced a more balanced feel to the movie.

As the story continued to unfold, one can’t help but compare the fictional world of Panem to the real world. What made the movie feel so real is the fact that it is a reflection of how things are right now. We see people suffer while others celebrate in the movie and we can clearly see that in the present. If we look at our history textbooks, we can also see that happen in the past. If the government doesn’t do something to amend their ways, we might still see the same suffering in the future. We see similarities between the movie and real life that it’s almost like the movie is letting us catch a glimpse of the past, present, and future and providing us with insight about the real world.

To be honest, I never really paid attention to the role of science and technology in the movie. After analyzing the film though, I was able to see that science and technology had a rather large part to play. So many elements of the story relied on those two that without them, the story wouldn’t move forward. Those two things showed us the endless scientific possibilities that the human race can achieve in the future. Cool flying jets, complex training grounds, more genetically altered animals. If Panem can have those things, I’m pretty sure we can have those, too. What science and technology failed to do, however, was to stop a rebellion. If simple berries can mean the downfall of the system, as Katniss had said, then that must mean even such complex technologies cannot stop the people. If they want to rise up, they will and nothing can stop them.

On a side note, I enjoyed Catching Fire so much that I watched it three times.

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