The end of another epic saga has come, and so the infamous Hunger Games cannon was fired one final time. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part Two brings the work of author Suzanne Collins to life once again, concluding the story of a young girl, Katniss Everdeen, from District Twelve who now finds herself in the final battle of a war that snowballed from the events of the hugely successful The Hunger Games (2012). However, comparing these two films is not a fruitful endeavour as the dystopian world of Panem, the setting for these films, has changed – gone are the frivolous and impressive dresses of the first film – replaced by the grey spectre of war.
The film captures this perfectly and in what is already a dark story, the cinematography embraces grey, bleak environments with the predominate ‘lively’ colour of the film being the bright orange flames that the characters find themselves travelling through, and at times, beating off themselves.
At this point it seems appropriate to draw parallels with the hugely successful Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part Two, that found itself, like Mockingjay, split in two to tell a story that most viewers knew the end to and expected to be gloomy. Fortunately, this is done perfectly, with a dramatic score building the intensity throughout, to the finale and the performances which remain, for the most part, loyal to their superbly written inspirations.
Jennifer Lawrence of course deserves praise but the special mention must go to Donald Sutherland, the despotic ruler of Panem, who once again delivers his lines with the distinctive clinical, calm and chilling voice of President Snow, the primary antagonist of the series. His final scene in the movie with his final dialogue still echoing in your mind is, if you have read the book, the finale fans were clamouring for.
However, the film runs a little flat at times, with the dialogue showing the visible and audiable signs of being padded out to stretch the film into two parts and losing the sense of the books, an issue now known as “The Hobbit disease”. The ending too, through no fault of the films themselves, is not quite the ending one may expect given Katniss’ unique character, though it did tie the saga to a neat finish, sadly signifying that this was the last trip to Panem for fans.
The films and books will continue to be popular for some time; the books have even surpassed Harry Potter as Amazon’s most popular book series in recent years. Legacies are an important part of films and the fear that the lasting legacy from these films would simply be the launch of Jennifer Lawrence’s carer has been dispelled, with the films establishing themselves amongst some of Hollywood’s great sagas.
By Arran Byers