Director Francis Lawrence closes the HUNGER GAMES franchise with a seemingly bitter end. I can’t blame him. Novelist Suzanne Collins wasn’t so keen in giving her characters their much deserved victories, thus, making you understand that tyranny and war have their own consequences. Lawrence fully get that part, and as he ends his journey for this film franchise, HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 (2015) audiences and fans can’t help not feel the same poignant closure as Collins did with her final book.
After learning what the Capitol has done to Peeta Mellark, Katniss Everdeen tells District 13 President Alma Coin that she wants to avenge Peeta by killing Panem’s President, Coriolanus Snow. She insists that if she doesn’t, this revolution will never see its end. Coin convenes a team of former Hunger Games survivors and rebels to go on a mission to attack the Capitol and assassinate Snow. In their final showdown, Katniss, together with Gale Hawthorne, and her closest friends put on their battle gears once again to face a bigger, and an even more dangerous “arena.”
Jo Willems’ crepuscular cinematography gets darker, bluer, and duskier. Even the once vividly colorful Capitol takes on the palid blanket, and it’s shadows reaches far beyond the camera. Worthy to mention was the scene in the sewers where Wilems thrives only on natural light to establish a sense of loss, mystery and even (fake) surprises. Noteworthy, too are Alan Edward Bell and Mark Yoshikawa‘s fluid editing, most especially the more intimate tight shot sequences. For once, I didn’t feel cheated while watching a cut-to-cut mid shot. Bell and Yoshikawa carefully regard the flow of movements between the cuts, giving off the satisfying sense of a single take.
Lawrence directs this finale with careful consideration to the remaining points necessary to pull off Collins’ climax. The challenge in this final installment is that it needs to develop a few more characters to establish newer motivations and more crucial character decisions; but Lawrence does deliver with a compellingly tight narrative in 2 hours and 19 minutes.
Jennifer Lawrence has once again proven her versatility as the Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen. She is great in her battles, but triumphs more in her silent scenes. During the plot’s denouement Katniss returns home and, in one scene, Lawrence unleashes her character’s unsettled anguish with remarkable grief. Donald Sutherland is at his best in this final instalment. Here, President Snow continues with his tyrannous conceit, but gives off another face as his character juxtaposes with that of Coin’s and her silent plans. Josh Hutcherson puts on another mask for his Peeta Mellark and exposes a more violent male hero. Philip Seymour Hoffman takes his final bow with his striking subtleties as Plutarch Heavensbee. As Hoffman faces his close ups in subdued takes, you know that he is one Hollywood actor who will surely be missed.
Unlike the Potter Series, this one ends with continuing nightmares and lifelong consequences. MOCKINGJAY Part 2 delivers quite a more truthful stance on the sequels of a corruptive past. Katniss Everdeen is our accidental, unwilling, yet faithful heroine, who reminds us,that triumph may come at a cost and the odds, may not completely be in our favor forever.
4 Stars out of 5!