Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Odds of Understanding This Story Are Not in Their Favor

You may not have read the Hunger Games trilogy, but take my word for it, this poster (seen in the lobby of a theater that's showing Mockingjay Part 1) is completely inappropriate:

Let's see, where to start.

The ad's headline modifies one of the catch phrases from the book: "May the odds be ever in your favor." This innocuous-sounding sentence is pronounced when a young person has just been selected to fight to the death on national television. Everyone knows the odds are not in their favor, so the phrase is basically a cruel joke.

The silhouetted figure on the left is supposed to be the main character, Katniss Everdeen, as indicated by her braided hair and quiver of arrows. She's toasting some other person with a paper cup full of soda pop.

This is the same Katniss Everdeen whose home town, District 12, is full of starving people. She learned to shoot arrows because hunting was the only way to feed her family. She was the object of pity (or empathy) from another character in the book, who purposely burned bread in his family's bakery so that it would be thrown out and Katniss could take it home to her family. So it makes perfect sense to show her drinking a disposable cup full of over-priced, high-fructose-corn-syrup carbonated water.

I'm not sure what or who the other figure -- host of multiple butterflies -- is supposed to represent. Maybe Effie, the publicist who first says the words, "May the odds be ever in your favor," to Katniss. It doesn't really matter. It just adds to the absurdity of the entire piece, which is intended to sell viewers on buying a $12 card from the theater that will, over time, "pay them back" with larger servings of popcorn and soda.

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