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Book to Movie Review/Discussion: Mockingjay Part 2

Mockingjay Part 2

Based on: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Director: Francis Lawrence

Screenplay by: Peter Craig, Danny Strong

Producers: Nina Jacobson, John Kilik

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore

SPOILERS BELOW


I probably won’t be the first to tell you that I thought Mockingjay Part 1 was definitely a step down from the perfection that was Catching Fire. I guess I have to forgive it somewhat, the source material is not a fan favorite including for me–my biggest problem with the book being such a jarring tonal shift from Book 1 and 2 as to almost feel like part of an entirely different series. I went in and watched Mockingjay Part 2 with low expectations considering all the mixed reviews but surprisingly I liked it a lot. In fact, I think I liked it more than the book.

There is way, way too much to discuss in one single post so I’m just going to touch on the points that stood out the most to me.

First of all, let’s talk about Peeta and Katniss. If you’ve read my Winner’s kiss review, you’ll know that I’ve come to loathe the amnesiac plotline for many reasons, emotional cop out, contrived, yada, yada, yada. And I wasn’t a fan of the device for Peeta either. But after looking back on it more than 4 years after reading it, I think it has grown on me. And the Peeta and Katniss dynamic in this movie was mostly well done thanks in part to the improved screenplay and of course, the always top notch performances. One of my favorite scenes was when Haymitch comes up to Katniss and Katniss was already ready to give up on Peeta but Haymitch says that no, it doesn’t matter what you want, it’s for Peeta. It kind of speaks volumes about who Katniss and Peeta are as characters. Katniss is someone who does not show pity and if you are the weak link, then screw you. But Peeta has always been the one to not leave anyone behind and in the book as Haymitch so accurately says, that if it were reversed and Katniss was the one injected with tracker jacker venom that Peeta would never for a moment think about leaving or killing Katniss. I think Josh Hutcherson did a great job showing Peeta’s conviction that these new twisted hallucinations were entirely real but that gradual shift to confusion once he’s learned that the events weren’t real was also really well acted.

Ok but honestly, it just hurts that it’s happening to Peeta, literally the sweetest fictional character in the history of fictional characters..but I guess I can see why Collins did it..I guess

I love the tension between the rebels at the beginning of the movie when Katniss is about to give a speech and chaos just erupts with rebels killing each other and Katniss says, “we are slaves to Snow” and the rebel says “I’m not a slave”and Katniss says “I am”. Chills, man, chills. But Katniss also says to him, “why are you killing rebels, your neighbors, your family” which is so powerful because we think Snow is evil because you

know, he kills people but here the rebels are killing other people too. Snow is operating on his own morality (I will kill children but I don’t do it without purpose) but then so are the rebels because these rebels and even Coin thinks that he/she knows what is best for Panem but when is that boundary crossed.

With everything else going on in this movie, I‘m pleasantly surprised they paid so much attention to how the impact of media propaganda but I’m really glad they did because it’s just so relevant today. It was so chilling when Caesar Flickerman, who once seemingly had only the best words for Katniss, is now speaking for the Capitol, saying things like “Katniss and her foolish rebels” or “the girl who was so violent now meets a violent end”. It’s just so scary because if you think about it, Caesar Flickerman can easily play two sides because you don’t actually find out what he stands for throughout the entire series. But he says things with such conviction and charisma that everything out of his mouth seems believable.

And ahh, the deaths. How do I put my thoughts together on that. It’s such a polarizing topic especially considering who dies (esp. Finnick and Prim). But, oh god, was Finnick’s death so heartwrenching because he was literally the one left behind and the mutts just consume him. Ugh, it hurts but I’m ok with it..

For me personally, I’m of the firm belief that a death in a book should be, for the most part, symbolic. It should mean something. For example, Mufasa’s and Bambi’s mother’s death, the loss of innocence. Boromir’s death, showing the power of the Ring. So even after the movie I still don’t know exactly to what purpose Finnick’s and Prim’s deaths serve. If anything, these deaths were such a bold choice on Collins’ parts precisely because it does not serve a clear purpose. I mean this entire series was catalyzed because Katniss volunteered for Prim and then she ended up..dead. No matter how main of a character or how important you are, war does not discriminate and it just kills whoever is in the way. But, at the same time, it seems like such a complete waste of a character. Like fattening up a pig only to eventually slaughter it. So, in conclusion, I’m still confused. I do really like the scene where Snow is about to be executed but instead Katniss kills Coin and Snow is killed by the people. How fitting.

And finally, the epilogue. I’m not sure why I’m not entirely satisfied with the epilogue. The editing makes it seem like the beginning of a horror movie which I guess is kind of the point because it’s a very haunting scene but still..

Sidenotes:

  • Katniss’s battle armor is always so bada, video game developers take note: the outfit is formfitting BUT FUNCTIONAL IN BATTLE.
  • Speaking of badass, that word is stamped all over Cressida played by Natalie Dormer. She just commands every scene she’s in even if she just said one word.
  • Another badass is Johanna. She is so harsh but so funny.
  • omigosh the mutts looked so scary..but that action scene was so thrilling. A+
  • Gale is actually not that annoying in the movie which is surprising because I wanted to kill him in the book.

So in ranking, I think Mockingjay Part 2 is my third favorite. almost being on part with the Hunger Games for second place. Obviously Mockingjay Part 1 is my least favorite and Catching Fire is my favorite by leagues.

What are your thoughts on Mockingjay Part 2? What’s your ranking of the movies?

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7 thoughts on “Book to Movie Review/Discussion: Mockingjay Part 2

  1. This movie was actually my least favourite out of the four. I found the plot to be rather flat and it lost the emotional intensity for me. I never thought about the role of propaganda in this movie and Flickerman’s dubious nature. So thanks for pointing that out! I really like how the movies went beyond the books like showing the behind-the-scenes with the Gamemakers in the first movie and filming the propos in the first part of Mockingjay. These are definitely some of the better book-to-movie adaptations out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see why you would feel that way; it’s definitely more focused on the realistic aspects of war than the other ones. Yeah I really liked that too! It gave a lot more nuance to the movies. And you’re right, I don’t think I’ve liked any other YA adaptation half as much as I liked The Hunger Games trilogy ones. I think the only one I kind of liked was The Maze Runner haha besides Harry Potter of course.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wasn’t a fan of book 3 in the series, which is why I haven’t seen the final two movies yet, but after reading your positive review I think I will finally get my act together and watch them. Perhaps it’ll be one of those rare films that I like more than the book!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes more often you hear people saying the opposite about film adaptations! Well, I’m glad to hear it, maybe the film will make me feel a bit better about the ending than the book did (I don’t think I can feel worse about it, so I guess I have nothing to lose 🙂 ).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Let me know if you end up watching it; I’m excited to hear your thoughts! =)
        Yeah nothing has changed in that aspect but idk maybe time has helped relieve most of the disappointment lol

        Liked by 1 person

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