Mockingjay Part Two
by Grace Collender
The girl on fire blazes onto screens for the last time in the explosive Mockingjay Part 2. In this final instalment of The Hunger Games series, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) sets her sights on the tyrannical President Snow (Donald Sutherland), resolving to assassinate him, thereby unshackling the land of Panem. However, as she takes the revolution to the dark heart of the Capitol, the ravages of war threaten to engulf Katniss, dousing her flame when she needs that spirit the most.
Mockingjay Part 2 arises from the split of the final book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, following the recent trend in page to screen adaptations. While this risks diluting the energy of the story, director Francis Lawrence successfully maintains a thrilling momentum, picking up right where the last instalment left off. Delving further into dystopian themes of mind control and erasure of identity, the opening shows Katniss is in recovery after having been attacked by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who has been brainwashed by Snow to perceive Katniss as an enemy. Snow will stop at nothing preserve his dictatorship and it becomes glaringly clear to the reluctant leader of the uprising that this time much more than merely her own survival is at stake.
Posing important questions about power and control, The Hunger Games series is far more than just another adventure flick, holding real resonance in today’s world. In fact, it has been banned in a number of Asian countries for being ‘inflammatory’. For example, in Thailand several students protesting the military junta in operation there since the coup of May 2014 were detained in November 2014 for using a gesture taken from the films, a three-finger salute of resistance to authoritarian government. This disturbing occurrence, which Francis Lawrence described as both “thrilling and worrying”, illustrates the real life significance of some of the dark themes captured in this film.
Teeming with powerful performances, not only from Jennifer Lawrence, but from Donald Sutherland as the terrifying Snow, and the late Philip Seymour-Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, one of the leaders of the revolution, Mockingjay Part 2 is a gripping culmination to a series that has captivated the world. As the horrors which were previously contained to the arenas of the Hunger Games bleed out into the rest of Panem, find out who will be the ultimate victor, if indeed there can really be one.M