Friday, March 23, 2012

On The Hunger Games and why I love Phillip Phillips

Premier of The Hunger Games movie today. We've got our tickets, electronically, anyway, and will be seeing it later this afternoon. I can't offer a critique on the movie, then, but I can say why I love Phillip Phillips.
Philips has reached the top nine on American Idol, an enviable position, no doubt, for any singer. You'd think he'd do anything, then, to give him an advantage, to push himself past the other contestants.
Even sell himself out?
Not Phillips. The other night on American Idol he was told by a highly regarded fashion consultant that his style was sloppy, "wrong" even. He shouldn't wear gray, and especially not two gray shirts together. He was told by two musical mentors to lose the guitar. It was a shield, they told him, he should do his song without it. So what did Phillips do on performance night? He came out wearing gray on gray, guitar in hand, and sang his heart out. The smile in his eyes and the joy in his face won me over, and they gave me hope.
I've only read The Hunger Games once. Often, I'll read a book multiple times just to revisit a world that I enjoy. But while I was gripped by the story and the characters in the Hunger Games, I haven't been in a hurry to go back to that place. Perhaps because in it, I see possibilities of what my own could become. Reality TV and violence exist already in my life. And I watch it, some of it. Just to admit that makes me cringe. Am I so far removed from the citizens of the Capitol?
I wonder, then I remember Phillip and his defiance toward those who would mold him into something he isn't. I reveled in that defiance, and I hope that I, too, would defy the morals of the Capitol, if I were ever in that place.   
So, I'll go to the movie tonight and remember that it's a fantasy world. And it will keep on being one as long as there are people in ours like Phillip Phillips.

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