So, the popular franchise known as ‘The Hunger Games’ has finally reached its end. The three-book series was summed up with its fourth and final film (following suit of ‘Harry Potter’, the final novel is split into two movies). The series echoes the Wizarding world’s story in more ways than one, as both film franchises seem to get progressively darker as they continue-, as the original audience of the first movie gets older, as well as the teen protagonist of the fictional world. Each original book collection inspired a generation to ‘start reading again’, and each is known around the world. But ‘The Hunger Games’ is not ‘Harry Potter’. For one, it is much grittier. Though both stories are for children and adults alike, this is sci-fi, not fantasy. It is the future, not the past.
For those who don’t remember where part one left us; here is a reminder. District 13, now where Katniss lives, is orchestrating a rebellion against the oppressive capitol. District after District is rising up to join them; and a squadron of soldiers has just rescued fellow victors of the games (Peeta and Joanna) from The Capitol, where they were being tortured. Katniss, upon reuniting with Peeta, is shocked as he attacks her, strangling her. It seems that the Capitol has brainwashed him to despise her. Now Katniss, as the face of the rebellion, must do all she can to not only help the Districts end this war, but also hope that Peeta can be saved.
Whilst this may sound a little dramatic, the visual medium certainly helps ground the story. Without giving away plot points, the realism of conflict is highlighted, and the message becomes clear; all violence is bad. Even when something good is achieved. The point made by ‘Mockingjay Part 1’ is continued; too- War is as much a psychological battle as it is a physical one. You do not just have to fight your enemy; you have to fight any doubts that your soldiers may have. The books offer this message too- but as previously mentioned, this visual element of film makes it all the more real. For example; for the final two films, Jennifer Lawrence, the actress who plays Katniss Everdeen, did not wear any make up. These, and the film’s refusal to shy away from destruction, fear, and sadness is what enforces the message onto all who watch it- war is terrifying, brutal, and wrong.
Although it may seem like a ‘bit of a downer’, the truth of the movie, combined with the ever-present sense of heroism that surrounds Katniss, makes up for the bleak tone. Also, without giving away anything, the ending is certainly hopeful, a positive glimpse of the future. A highly anticipated movie, ‘Mockingjay Part 2’ has become the 24th highest grossing movie of all time- and I have no doubt that its popularity will continue for quite some time. If you’ve seen and loved the past three films- get a ticket as soon as possible! If you haven’t- watch the first three films, and then make your way to your local cinema!