by Victoria H

For the third weekend in a row, the final Hunger Games film, Mockingjay Part 2 – has dominated the box office. Yet the film remains a bit of a disappointment as its box office revenues are still significantly lower than what was predicted. Some have cited audience fatigue with the franchise and others the quality of the film. Any book that is made into a film will always disappoint fans. A book allows you to interpret things however you like, while with a film you have to rely on others’ interpretations. This final Hunger Games instalment will never match the book, nor should it be expected too.  

This film, like the previous one, suffers from plot fatigue. There is so much going on that it is hard to have a clear direction and consistent pacing. This should have been avoidable given the fact that they split the final Hunger Games novel into two films. There should have been enough screen time to include all important events in a clear way.

One aspect that presents strongly is the concept that war brings horrors whether you win or lose. Even the ‘victors’ and survivors will have scars that remain with them for the rest of their lives. So often in war films, the lingering effects of war and violence are glossed over. Yet this is not the case in either the Hunger Games book or film series. All the characters are left with differing levels of PTSD, and these struggles are made clear to audiences. 

What this film does best, is what the book series does best as well, and this is tricking youths into learning about the hard truth of politics and war. Suzanne Collins, the author of the Hunger Games series, has made political and media manipulation palpable for young audiences. The Mockingjay films (both 1 and 2) give great significance to ‘propos’ which are used to disseminate strategic information and rally the troops. Katniss is even followed around by a camera crew in the hopes that she’ll do something that they can then use to manipulate/rally the districts. Regardless of whether the cause is just or not ‘propos’ or propaganda, as we know it, is all about manipulation. Despite the setting in a fictional dystopian world, hopefully this is a lesson that will stay with young audiences. Everyone should be critical of the sources they trust for their information.

On a similar vein this film shows how absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is embodied in the story of the Resistance’s leader Alma Coin, played by Julianne Moore. The film is able to more overt with her resulting corruption and manipulation as the books were limited to Katniss’ point of view and what she was able to notice. Coin starts as a straight-talking if blunt leader but this is not how she ends. With victory comes elections, and this is not something she is guaranteed to win. So Coin learns quickly to manipulate situations to best serve herself and her pursuit of power.

While this film is not oscar worthy not the best Hunger Games instalment, it does have some important lessons to share. This final Hunger Games film is well worth the watch if you are a Hunger Games fan. If you’re not a huge fan its still worthwhile to check out what the film has to say beyond the love triangle.  Be sure to check it out this weekend if you haven’t already and maybe this final Hunger Games film will be able to top the box office for a fourth weekend in a row

 

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