Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Ships in the Dystopia [A Reaction to Catching Fire]

            Catching Fire, the Hunger Games Sequel, is laced with a series of distinct concepts, and while it presents a standard dystopian future storyline, the concepts presented and the manner in which they are presented gives it an interesting take.

            I would classify it as Science Fiction based off of the definition of Darko Suvin, who states that Science Fiction is set in a word that has not existed in the present, but holds some possibility of existing in the future. The other component being that the logic of the world is based or has grounds in the existing knowledge or technologies we possess today. As Catching Fire fits somewhat into this criteria, I can say that it can be classified as Science Fiction.

             As for the concept of the world, it seems interesting that the capitol, the district that specialized in advancements in science and technology, rose above all other districts. To me, it appears that the movie is making a commentary on how knowledge, while inertly good, also comes with the aspect of power, and the greater chance to abuse that power, as seen in the bio-weapons the capitol unleashes on the tributes during the games. It is also hinting that, in the event of an apocalypse, humanity’s instinct would not be to unite, but to struggle for power and dominance over the remaining population. It’s a bleak thought, but the entire premise of the movie stems from the idea that humanity has made huge leaps in terms of technology and medicine, but instead of sharing it, people abuse it for the purpose of gaining control and dominance over the rest. In this regard , the movie is commenting on this aspect of humanity, which has been around since the past, up to the present, and looks like it may very well extend to the future as well. It is also stating that Science and Technology has succeeded in the sense that they have pushed their limits by large bounds since the present time, but failed because it was not able to propagate unity in the world, and instead was used as a tool to do the opposite.

          With all that is said and done, Catching Fire remains an interesting movie, and also has the aspect of love, ever present in the world despite all the oppression going on. It contains enough of it to make people flock to watch it, so it is successful in that regard, at least.

Joachim R. Sison

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