Wars, especially revolutions, aren’t just concerned about gaining control of the battlefield. It’s also vitally important to win control over the hearts and minds of the people you’re fighting for – or in the case of the Capitol, fighting over – so that they will rally behind your cause. And while Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawerence) might have the survival skills and manpower, it seems that President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has something much more valuable: an expensive, terrifying propaganda campaign.
The first teaser for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 shows the lengths that Snow is willing to go to in order to keep the people of Panem under his control. Don’t be fooled by the pristine white color scheme; these are some dirty tricks. Buried underneath talk of peace and elegance, and an elaborate metaphor for Panem in which the districts represent the vital organs that make up the overarching body, Snow slips in some menacing threats. “If you resist the system, and starve yourself… it is you who will bleed.”
YouTube/The Hunger Games
But it’s not until the very end that Snow plays his trump card and reveals Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), looking just as put together as the president, standing behind him seemingly in a show of solidarity. Having Peeta on President Snow’s side will no doubt encourage ordinary citizens to stick close to the government and make it a lot harder for Katniss and the other rebels to win their trust. Although – and it might just be us – but something seems a little off about Peeta. He’s not the type to shy away from cameras or the opportunity to charm the audience, so why does he suddenly seem so stiff and reserved? Is there something President Snow isn’t revealing, or has Peeta genuinely switched sides?
Now that we know the depths that the Capitol is willing to stoop to in order to keep Panem under control, the ball is officially in Katniss’ court. What tricks does she have up her sleeve in order to keep the Districts from buying into Snow’s threatening promise of “Panem Forever?”
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 arrives in theaters on November 21.