Never Without Valor
This is the most opportune time to reflect on what took place these past few weeks. Holy week had just gone by. Penitence had been the talk among Christians. Families and friends plotted a week full of adventures and as for me, movies. One free day yet again was added to our 3-day vacation: April 9, known to us Filipinos as Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), a national holiday which commemorates the ‘fallen victors’ of Bataan Death March buried 70 years past our history during the Japanese occupation. Coincidentally, it’s the same day I indulged in a whole day of “film viewing spree” with my sister.
1. The Hunger Games
There is no greater love than that of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who beat off the crowd, take the cold spotlight of death and shout, “I volunteer,” to save her sister’s life. A stalwart hunter, who lives on the impoverished area of District 12, had to muster courage and strength as she took on her sister’s place to star in a live slaughter game, which man-hunt spectacle reminds me of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Manipulated in a “Big Brother” fashion amplified with battle training, survival feats, television glam, with 23 other young ones trying to lure the odds on their side, the Hunger Games couldn’t have been truer than the world we live in, a world that is enterprisingly demanding of the inane, violent, extravagant, dramatic, scheming and, the hopeful.
Seldom do I find myself catapulted into a world where I truly feel that I am one with a movie. When Hugo Cabret stubbornly asked his notebook back from Mr Georges whom he didn’t know then was the great filmmaker, Georges Melies, I saw in his eyes that he’s ready to follow Mr Georges on his way home and fight the freezing cold outside the station; a boy at the mercy of someone with a higher stature in life, I knew then how my heart would skip a beat once his dreams were realized. And not only that an orphan’s dream was the heart of the matter in this magnificently filmed tale of finding home, of wanting to be fixed, and of desiring to be what we are worthy of becoming, it is also about helping others rekindle their passion and the love they once have for their own purpose, like a clockwork lying silently inside each and every one of us.