The rebellion is in full pursuit, following the chain of events that took place during the first part. We pick up with Katniss Everdeen, the renowned ‘Girl on Fire’, the face of the mutiny against the detrimental Capitol. As the land of Panem they once knew faces deplorable destruction, the initially reluctant Mockingjay is faced with leading an army to definitively take down President Snow for the perils the Hunger Games brought society. Determination and emotion arise as our heroine is forced to make ultimate judgment, risking everything she loves.
I’ve waited a long time for this. It’s finally the end to a much loved YA book trilogy adaptation. And I have a considerable amount to discuss and evaluate.
Now to understand my full experience with the series – this instalment in particular – we go back to a few years ago when I actually started reading it. The first two were brilliant, everyone would freely agree with me here. The action portrayed from the 74th and 75th Hunger Games was immensely enjoyable. It was the third book that I struggled with, hence why I didn’t know what to expect when it came down to the films. Last year, part one blew me away. Even though it was primarily just a prolonged build up to the conclusion, it was brilliantly griping. It was that rare occasion when I actually preferred the film to the book.. Obviously doesn’t happen too often.
And here is the second part. It’s been a long time since I finally got through the book – admittedly, it took a lot longer for me to scrape through compared to the predecessors. So it wasn’t so fresh in mind, but there were still elements that I could recall. At the midnight screening of the epic conclusion (yes the tiredness and technical difficulties were ultimately worth it), I was preparing myself for an emotional journey to say the least.
And damn did it deliver.
I haven’t felt that many diverse emotions at once in a long time. And the soundtrack was stunning. It complimented the action so well that those tears did start to appear at multiple points in the duration. But this was the emotional ride of the rebellion. It wouldn’t be a war without some casualties. Unfortunately there were casualties that I wished never happened. It’s difficult to go into too much depth without giving away spoilers to the few people out there that are unaware of what takes place as part of the concluding episode. So I will just say right here, there may be some semi-spoilers. You have been warned.
Picking up right where we left off, Katniss is recovering from Peeta’s outburst. The two films tie together effortlessly (which was beneficial after re-watching the first part before the screening). From there on, action commences. Characters begin to reveal their true identities in the face of combat. Lives are woefully lost in the endeavour for an end to the years of intolerable adversity the people of Panem have unwilling endured.
There was fair amount of Katniss acting like the kick-butt protagonist she is, which is always good. I was quite happy to see more examples of her inhuman capabilities with a bow and arrow. Waking in the hospital wing of various districts becomes a very common occurrence for her. She becomes a walking cumulation of war wounds and battle scars. She’s insistent on making her voice heard – despite her adamant social awkwardness and natural stubborn-ness. Katniss’ character portrayal can be reasonably dynamic, she has many sides, all contributing to a differing persona. I think this is why she’s so appealing as a protagonist heroine.
Jennifer Lawrence, of course, enacts Katniss superbly. Her speeches were delivered with such raw emotion, that you could truly believe in her anger and pure dedication towards the cause. Irritating at times, she’s still vastly independent and her intentions, for the most part, are spot on. Although she is constantly being used by district 13 and the rebels as a pawn in their game of warfare. The love triangle plays more involvement in the story this time, it can be awkward seeing both ‘suitors’ in the same scenarios with Katniss. But thankfully, they don’t focus too much on this and it can be easily overlooked due to the intense action sequences and more emphasis on the dominant affairs surrounding the rebellion.
“Tonight, turn your weapons to the Capitol.
Turn your weapons, to Snow”
When it comes down to the lesser characters, we witness a lot of growth in personalities and individual attributes that aren’t necessarily as evident in previous instalments. We can begin to perceive Gale’s true calling in the world. At first, he’s obviously there to support Katniss, but he evolves into a soldier. And a very typical soldier at that. I’m glad this was quite prominently put across. The growth of Gale’s character and no matter how despairing it is to see him drift from Katniss, I believe it’s the right choice for them both. Gale is a strong character, in many interpretations of the word, and relates too closely to Katniss’ character for them to truly be together.
Peeta also grows as a character as the time goes on. Distinguished as a Capitol ‘mutt’ by the other rebels, he undertakes a clear perception of his mental state. For the most part, he’s still that tiresome burden that follows the crew. As he survives and persists forward against the Capitol, he finally demonstrates his benevolence (despite his pitiless comments sometimes).
There are so many characters I have great fondness from. And this film demonstrated a lot of their loyalty and devotion to both the cause and Katniss herself. Haymitch has always been loveable and a consistent humorous incompatible charisma counter to Katniss. Effie also has to be mentioned. Her charming presence gives a stable anchor for Katniss in her time of need. Some characters surprised me, predominantly Pollux. A character that I simply overlooked whist reading, but here is when he truly shined in my eyes. He added so much emotion and I couldn’t help but sympathise.
I would mention Finnick here too.. But I’m not sure how to even put it into words. If you know the story, you would understand. I can mention, however, how touching his wedding was. Annie and Finnick are just wonderful.
When it comes down to mentioning negatives or any aversions, I don’t have too much to scrutinize. Although when mentioning the epilogue… It was moderately cringe worthy. This aftermath of narrative was relevant and required in the book, but I’m not sure if it was necessarily needed here. After seeing it, we compared it to the ending of Harry Potter with a similar ‘Many Years Later’ type scenario that was almost not necessary. BUT, it still does give a good level of closure to the narrative.
As far as I can remember, this adaptation sticks very faithfully to the book. As soon as I saw some points, I recognised it from what I read all those months ago. Regardless, it was a appreciable conclusion to one of my all time most adored series – both in book and film forms. Gripping, emotional and extremely pleasing to the eyes, this was definitely a satisfying and worthwhile resolution.