Interesting film, this one, and most certainly not only for young adults.
I will not give any spoiler, but what I found striking was the following:
1) The theme (not new) of the omnipotent Central Government, the absolute ruler of its subjects. Rather an actual theme, I would say.
2) The absence of every Christian message, in a desolate world that has – leaving aside the theological implications of this – forgotten Christianity. This is not “The Descendants”, where there is no Christianity because in the mind of the writers and director everyone is too cool to believe in God. This is exactly the contrary, and you rapidly understand this world can only be cruel, because there is no Christianity.
3) The open criticism of the growing kitsch dominating our lives. The hair and general clothes of most of the “leaders” (not, crucially, of the two main and of the “positive” characters) is characterised by a grotesque absence of taste. Interesting, because the way most people dress, their haircut and , in some circles, their tattoos would have been considered disgusting and worse than ridiculous just a couple of decades ago.
4) The dig at the “inclusive” culture. The movie – I have not read the book – sends some unspoken messages: the hair and clothes clearly mean this is a “liberal” dictatorship, where no one is “discriminated” or “made to feel excluded” for his personal taste and at least the ruling class can “express” itself as it pleases. Similarly, there is a clear message that in this fake “liberal” world, in reality extremely cruel and devoid of any ethics, homosexuality is considered normal. I see in this a criticism to the Nazism our liberals are trying to build around us: violently illiberal, but open to every perversion in sexual morals, or simple taste.
5) This is a clean movie. A movie completely centred on adolescents of both sexes, but without sex, actually without even sexual innuendos. Mind, this is not a movie for 12 years old, and I would not bring a 12 years old to see it. Say, 15 to 18 must be the main target, but even as an adult there are no limits to its fruition.
Nowadays, when teenagers are confronted with sexual messages in every aspect of the trash “culture” dished to them, to make an expensive movie of this kind is more than laudable. I couldn’t avoid thinking that if the movie had been co-produced by the BBC, some of the “good characters” would have been most certainly perverts: the BBC does it without exception, with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” being only the last example.
The movie is more than a bit upsetting, because the viewer is plunged in a world of brutal fight for survival for a longish time. Again, I wouldn’t bring there a 12 years old.
Still, I think you wouldn’t waste your time and money, and many of you would agree with me in my interpretation of some of the aspects of this movie. Again, I haven’t read the book – nor do I plan to – so I cannot tell you whether these issues run through it.