Mockingjay Part 2
Recommended for: Ages 15 to Adult
As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.
Read my review of Part 1 here.
Mockingjay. Heartbreaking. Horrible. Meaningful.
This movie is sad, just like the book. It's hard to watch, yet I like it. It was really good, in my opinion, at least. The only possible ending to the story after what they went through, though I hate that so many people had to die. If they hadn't, it wouldn't have been as real. It wouldn't mean so much. "If you kill Snow, those deaths, they mean something."
Since I reviewed the book and thus the story and its meaning earlier this week, this review will primarily focus on how they adapted the original material to the screen, which was very well.
Can I think of any technical complaints? Um....still thinking. With so much word-for-word-from-the-book dialogue, ultra-professional filmography, brilliant acting, and beyond amazing score, I'm really having a hard time thinking of technical problems. Oh, wait, I thought of one. The Mockingjay hairdressers don't appear to know how to create the iconic Katniss braid from the first two movies. When she has a braid, it's just a side braid, not a Dutch braid that crosses the back of her head diagonally. This movie works best watched right after Mockingjay 1, which I was not quite able to do, since I had to watch MJ1 the night before, but even so, it's a well made movie. It was well acted. Josh did a good job of portraying hijacked Peeta, which was heartbreaking to see, even though he was less broken than in the book. Jennifer Lawrence, as usual, was spot on for Katniss, despite the fact that she too was less broken. Really, they all were. It was well done.
And have I mentioned the score? I think Mockingjay 2 is my favorite soundtrack of the series. It's so amazing, so full of emotion. The last song makes me want to cry every time. It's just beyond words.
I don't have much to add to what I said last year. The worldbuilding remains consistent. Panem is a horrible place to live, but it's very well developed. We get to see more of the Capitol streets here, though they're kind of turned into a Games. We see Snow's mansion again, and it plays an instrumental part. (By the way, I don't even live incredibly far from it. I want to go drive by. I've been to the Tribute Center too. I had Chick-fil-A there after going to the World of Coca-Cola.) They're at war. Panem is certainly war-torn. They did a good job of portraying that on-screen. Things aren't running the way they used to. Everything's falling apart. Panem will never be the same again.
It was a very faithful adaptation. I appreciate that. They did change a few things, like having Prim visit Peeta instead of Delly Cartwright, which makes sense, since they never mentioned Delly. So much was right out of the book, what Katniss said to the guy who wanted to kill her in 2, Peeta and Gale's conversation about her, bits from the very end and the epilogue...That's what makes a good movie to me, basing it on the book. There wasn't very much of Annie, mostly due to the biggest change they made, I assume for time and to keep the tension high. SPOILER In the book, Katniss trains to go on a mission to the Capitol and passes. In the movie, she sneaks onto a transport and they send her team to pretend it was their plan all along. END SPOILER So that gives less Finnick and Annie time, less Johanna time, and even a little less Peeta time. But that was really the biggest change. And I appreciate the changes they made to make some of the deaths less gruesome. And then there's the ending. They did rush the aftermath of a certain thing Katniss does a bit, keep her from sitting in a room crazy for so long, but they dwelt a bit more on the actual ending. They did cut the making of the book, but they had several little scenes showing "Peeta and I grow back together." And then "You love me. Real or not real?" I was kind of annoyed at the people who laughed in the pause between the sentences, but I still managed somewhat to focus on the beautiful moment there. And the epilogue. Nothing can compare.
Character Development: 5/5
I've been on a long journey with these characters. They feel like old friends. Even Johanna's that girl I never really liked but feel sorry for just the same. I miss Finnick. Peeta makes me want to cry. Gale...he's too much of a soldier. Prim, dear sweet Prim. Katniss, a girl who just wanted to save her sister and is now so broken. Katniss and Peeta aren't quite as damaged and broken in the movie as they are in the book. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. I like it because I hate to see them so scarred, but at the same time, it kind of feels like it diminishes what they went through a bit. Anyway, the character development is still excellent and I miss these characters.
So, like I've said before, these stories are not a light read or watch. They're meant to be pondered. They're not for everyone, especially if you're sensitive to violence. (Though the violence is very tastefully handled. I can barely handle LOTR, but I'm fine on THG.) If you've watched the first three movies, watch this one. If you've read the books, watch them all. Think about it. And work to turn this country around before we become a nation like Panem.