I love film sagas. I call them escape films because with film franchises like Twilight, Harry Potter, The Maze Runner, and The Hunger Games, my female friends and I can anticipate seeing several installments of our favorite movies as an excuse for a girl’s night out. I look for any excuse to get out of making dinner. After thirty-six years of marriage, I’m tired of looking at that stupid stove.
Today, I did something completely different. My husband and I made arrangements to see the last installment of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 with our neighbors, Rita and her husband. We went to the morning showing of the film, which meant that I still got home early enough to cook dinner. Damn! Was Mockingjay – Part 2 worth dragging the hubbies to the movie?
Although there were only three books written by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games were made into four installments. For those of you who have never heard of The Hunger Games, the story is a science fiction war epic that follows the young protagonist, Katniss Everdeen and her friends as they try to survive a futuristic post-apocalyptic North America government called Panem.
Katniss and her friends come from 12 dirt poor districts that are under the control of an evil president. Each year, one boy and one girl were chosen from each district, then taken to The Capitol to fight to the death for the entertainment of the filthy rich. The games are televised. The winners are rewarded with food, supplies and some riches.
The first three films, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay Part 1 were a big success and it was due to the subject matter and the fact that the savior of the twelve districts turns out to be a young girl named Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence). Katniss did what no one before her was able to do. She inspired a revolution. Along with her comrades, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), Katniss had become a dangerous threat to the games run by President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Mockingjay Part 1 ended with Peeta brainwashed to kill Katniss and the rebellion’s President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) using Katniss in her propaganda films to defeat Snow.
The last installment picks up where its predecessor left off. Katniss is healing from Peeta’s attack. He almost strangled her to death. Coin wants to continue using Katniss to win over more rebels, but Katniss wants only one thing; kill President Snow. Katniss is assigned to the Star Squad led by Boggs (Mahershala Ali). They plan to blow up The Capitol’s arsenal using Holo, a special holographic map that warns of booby traps created by Gamemakers. For some strange reason that makes absolutely no sense at all, Peeta is allowed to go on this assignment, which doesn’t sit well with Gale. Both Gale and Peeta love Katniss. It was interesting to see my two favorite characters of “Game of Thrones” cast included in this saga, Gwendoline Christie and Natalie Dormer.
My husband and my friend’s husband only perked up from their stupor when there was some action because, men love to see things blown up. Above all else, Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 focused more on the war between the poor districts and the rich capitol so there’s lots of shooting and death. Before Boggs dies, he tells Katniss that she needs to watch her back because her fame is a threat to all who lead. One by one her friends are killed or injured and the team, now led by Katniss, must enter the sewers where they tangle with freaking scary critters created by the Gamemakers. When Katniss finally reaches the capitol, she learns a horrid secret.
While Rita and I enjoyed the film, we noticed the hubbies nodding off when the scenes had no fighting or explosions going on. While we girls enjoyed the romantic scenes that gave more depth on the relationship between Katniss, Gale and Peeta and the consequences of their failure to reach the capitol, the men did not. Rita and I began second guessing our decision to include the men in our outing. Maybe, we should have left the men home.
A good friend of mine told me that he was not impressed with the film. I have to admit, neither were Dan and Paul. Rita loved the film saying that Mockingjay 2 was true to the book. I’ve never read any of the books, but it is on my ‘to do’ list.
I loved all four of The Hunger Games films. I consider them a glimpse into our possible future, especially because the plot mirrors what’s going on in our world today. Don’t we have already have Big Corporations trying to take over the government, one politician at a time? Aren’t the poor already maligned by the one percent? How easy would it be to make the poor nothing more than fodder for their entertainment?
I enjoyed Mockingjay Part 2 in spite of the slow parts because the story is good. Katniss and her friends and family endured under the most horrid of conditions. Katniss is the female of our times. She mirrors the brave women who fight in our military. Just this year, we had two women; First Lieutenant Shaye Haver and Captain Kristen Griest successfully pass the grueling course to become Army Rangers. That is no small feat. We’ve come a long way, baby!
I love that The Hunger Games gave young girls a role model. In a world where women are treated as less than equal, and sometimes less than human, it is important to have a Katniss, a Griest and a Haver. Katniss may be a fictional character, but she proved that women can be skilled warriors and still have a heart of gold. Unfortunately, for this warrior, I still had to go home and make dinner.