Opposite ends of the political spectrum are claiming the blockbuster Hunger Games as their own. Is it a tale of too much government or of gun-packing capitalists who don't believe in social services? The dystopian story tells of dictatorial President Snow forcing conquered people to offer their children annually for fight-to-the death hunger games that provide "entertainment" to the masses. Protagonist Katniss Everdeen participates to save her family. "Because it’s an allegory, people can read into the movie whatever they please," Entertainment Tonight movie critic Leonard Martin tells the New York Daily News. And that's exactly what's happening.
“This is a movie that makes you root for personal liberty and against state control," Monica Mullin writes in the National Review Online. “The film is also a telling critique of our current culture, which values celebrity, reality TV and superficial style over family, freedom and compassion.” Or not. "Hunger Games is, at its core, a critique of winner-take-all capitalism—a writ-large version of the same struggle that’s given us the Occupy movement and the idea that America’s top 1% is ruling badly and unjustly, with disastrous results,” notes author Emily Gould in a guest column in the News. Fans of a far different ilk are blasting the decision to cast a black actress as a game participant described in Suzanne Collins' book as having "dark brown skin." The tumblr Hunger Game Tweets has attracted a smattering of ugly comments that are "disappointing, sad, stomach-churning and just plain racist," notes Jezebel.