The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)
November 17, 2015 9:44 AM - Subscribe

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.

This is the second of two cinematic parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, and the fourth installment in The Hunger Games film series. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland.
posted by Pendragon (50 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
So hoping for an epilogue fifty years later with a perfectly over coiffed Katniss walking along a different but perfect walkway explaining to a young (played by Mr Tucci) descendant of Caesar Flickerman just why the revolution failed to work out and that they were re-instating a more kind and gentle version of the hunger games to keep the current populace in order.
posted by sammyo at 12:06 PM on November 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yes, I posted this a bit early, I can't wait to see this :-)
posted by Pendragon at 12:20 PM on November 17, 2015


Oh, I didn't know we could start posts before seeing the movie. I see how it is. I posted after seeing it last night, thinking, I went to one of the first screenings ...

Anyway. I didn't think they pulled any punches yet it wasn't a gory movie when it easily could have been. It's obviously not a standalone movie - it's part 2 of the last film in a trilogy - so this is not a great place to start if you haven't seen the other movies or read the books. I thought the acting was very good, especially by Jennifer Lawrence. The scene near the end where she's finally hit by the weight of her losses was very moving, in my opinion. But I felt like everyone brought their A game, including Josh Hutcherson. I read before the movie that his hijacking is a metaphor for PTSD and seeing him struggle to keep it together on the battlefield was hard to watch.

Regarding differences with the book, they leave out the part where Katniss and Joanna train to join the forces in the war. They also omit the part after the war but before Snow's execution when Katniss goes into a PTSD funk and doesn't shower for a while. When I read the book, I didn't catch it when Finnick died until a chapter or two later. The movie doesn't give you that opportunity. I was a little disappointed that they didn't talk about the book Katniss and Peeta made at the end honoring those who didn't make it. I thought the movie made Gale more sympathetic when Katniss asks him about how the war ended. Similarly, the last scene with Effie was touching.

Seeing how Haymitch was affected by the death of the children was moving. Speaking of which, I thought they did a nice job of showing what happens at the end of the war without making it gory. I thought there was no ambiguity though it might have been too quick.

I thought the scene in the tunnel was truly terrifying. Hearing Haymitch read Plutarch's letter felt surreal knowing what happened IRL to Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I was excited to see the garden scene with Snow (I always loved the line "My dear Miss Everdeen, I thought we agreed never to lie to each other") and it was good but I thought they cut away too soon - that part had more weight for me.

Not gonna lie - even knowing what to expect, the last scene felt weird. I don't know a better way to do it though. It almost would have been better to have older actors play Katniss and Peeta at the end. But it was effective and satisfying.
posted by kat518 at 3:45 AM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


My favorite observation from a review about how grim the movie was : it literally ends with someone telling a baby that their nightmares never end. I didn't think it was that grim but that line cracked me up.
posted by kat518 at 5:25 AM on November 20, 2015


When I read the book, I couldn't understand why Katniss agreed to the next round of hunger games. I was hoping the movie would give me some better insight, but it didn't. That one beat feels so out of place for her character.

I'm still impressed, though, with how beautiful a portrayal of depression and PTSD this story is... if you can say such a thing is beautiful. As a character sketch, I find it awesome, in a literal sense. Katniss's relationship with Peeta is something I find deeply poignant. And all too real.

This isn't a fun movie. It's not joyful. And it shouldn't be. This is a movie about war and bloodshed, and what it gets right is that war and bloodshed are not fun, do not end joyfully.
posted by meese at 10:07 AM on November 21, 2015


meese, I took it that she was going along with coin so as not to raise suspicion -- even then, her intention was to kill her. and haymitch went along with katniss because he trusted her (what that glance was about -- he knew she had something up her sleeve).

more later but overall, I felt pretty disappointed. just so overexplainy and even clunky at the end, imho. but pretty!
posted by changeling at 12:02 PM on November 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I've considered that. And it makes sense a bit... except, Katniss has never been good at planning. She doesn't scheme, and she's complete crap at politics. Both in the book and in the movie, the decision to kill Coin seemed like a realization in the moment. Just like every other time she does something smart or brave, she came to a point of clarity and competence when actually in the situation, not a second sooner.

I mean... I'm not denying that's as plausible read of her actions as possible... I'm just left a bit unsatisfied by it.
posted by meese at 12:20 PM on November 21, 2015


I guess that it was an OK end to the series but it felt very slow and padded. How many times did they stop to nap during their journey to the palace? And then after that long slog, the ending seemed way too rushed. Lawrence is good as usual and the supporting cast is great but they didn't get too much to do. I was also neat to see Michelle Forbes in a movie and she at least got few good scenes.

This should have been a three movie series, there's no reason other than money for the third book to have been split up into two films.
posted by octothorpe at 1:20 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


My take on Katniss's agreement was that she was totally playing Coin, having taken the various warnings about her to heart. Snow's, and Bogg's advice.

I wished we could have spent more time getting to know Primrose and seeing her and Katniss interact, even briefly. And I kind of miss the Gale/Primrose relationship (or am I mis-remembering that? It's been a while since I read the book).

Seeing Danny Strong's name in the credits makes me want to rewatch all his Buffy appearances again! Good for you Danny.

Interesting choices of lighting and cinematography- Katniss seemed to be in the dark throughout the film, frequently lit from behind. You often can't see her face at all. I was sitting there thinking " jeez, if you are going to light the film like Barry Lyndon shouldn't you use one of those special space cameras, or whatever" but I guess it was probably a deliberate artistic choice... either that or my local multiplex is economizing on their power bill rather a lot.
posted by Coaticass at 2:50 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was wondering how they would handle Prim's death. In the books, it's devastating, and a lot of young fans were pretty mad about it. I thought they sort of just skirted it and it was not very resonant. In the theater, people were laughing at the scene where Katniss screams at the cat, which was annoying but understandable the way Prim's death was barely acknowledged.

And I kind of miss the Gale/Primrose relationship (or am I mis-remembering that? It's been a while since I read the book).

Romantic relationship? Not that I recall. But Gale was very close with Katniss' family and he looked out for Prim when Katniss was away.
posted by lunasol at 6:19 PM on November 21, 2015


Okay, that must just be my weird head-canon, everyone gets those right? Don't answer that.
posted by Coaticass at 11:35 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, I'm sure there's tons of fanfic to that effect ...
posted by lunasol at 7:00 AM on November 22, 2015


Prim's death seemed weirdly underplayed. You'd think that they'd have made that more of the focus of the finale since Katniss got involved in the whole thing to protect her sister and in the end failed totally to do that.
posted by octothorpe at 8:12 AM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


octothorpe, exactly! It was so weird to me. But I think it was a product of the filmmakers not knowing how to deal with it without alienating viewers (ie, the blowback Susan Collins got from a lot of book-readers). Basically, I think they lost their nerve. But they couldn't cut it out, so they just underplayed it.
posted by lunasol at 9:17 AM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


The discussion of why Katniss voted for another games is one that has interested me since reading the book. I think the author's choice of words, which are the same as those in the movie, is critical.

At the start of the meeting, Coin says she had the idea for a final games. I think in the book, Katniss thought of how the games initially probably started under similar circumstances - people sitting around a table trying to figure out how to terrify their new subjects into submission. After having met with Snow plus this new info, Katniss concludes that Coin is as bad as Snow and cannot live. It's out of character for Katniss, whose known for her impulsivity but part of the series is also about her growing into a more deliberate person.

When Katniss voted, she says, "Yes, for Prim." This tells Haymitch that she's going to kill Coin, as revenge for Prim or, because Prim would never support another games, Katniss is going to sacrifice herself one more time, just as she did during the reaping.

When Haymitch votes, he says, "I'm with the Mockingjay," telling Katniss he knows what she's thinking and he supports her. If either of them voted "no," it would have indicated they did not support Coin when they needed to be close to her. Haymitch doesn't just say "yes" or "I'm with Katniss" because in a way, she wasn't voting as Katniss. She was voting as the Mockingjay, prepared to sacrifice her own life and future for the good of Panem.

My two cents. Looking forward to hearing others' perspectives.
posted by kat518 at 11:09 AM on November 22, 2015 [12 favorites]


There was an interesting article in Buzzfeed that explained some of the choices the production team made with the movie. They recognized that the book spent a bit of time on Katniss coping with the aftermath of Prim's death but they didn't want to just show Katniss walking around moping, which I think is reasonable.

It also made an interesting point regarding the split into two movies - it would have been a bit much to have Peeta go from trying to kill Katniss to having them end up together in the course of one movie. That feels like a little bit of a cop-out but at the same time, I felt like this movie was pretty true to the book but also pretty tight. I think it would have been hard to show a build-up to and conclusion of a revolution in one movie. I don't know - I liked this movie so I might still be too excited to be appropriately critical.
posted by kat518 at 11:17 AM on November 22, 2015


I also thought that Katniss made the decision to kill Coin in the meeting when Coin suggested a new Hunger Games, and that's why she said she was for them. Katniss may not be much of a planner, but that was about as much planning as she had put into killing Snow too, so it didn't strike me as out of character. Haymitch could tell something was up, so he followed her lead.

Speaking of Haymitch, I really love the Haymitch/Katniss relationship, and Haymitch blindly trusting her with that "I'm with the Mockingjay" at the end was a perfect encapsulation of their relationship. There are a bunch of moments through the movies where Katniss and Haymitch just get each other, without much communication, and I love that. That they're so alike, that Haymitch finds some reason to hope in her, that Katniss has one adult she trusts almost without reservation. Oh, and Haymitch/Effie! This series got so lucky with its actors, because holy shit, the amount of showing-not-telling their final exchange did: just one kiss and suddenly you can tell so much about their relationship with each other, and about their interior lives.

I have my qualms with this series (book and movie), but one thing it has done extraordinarily well has been to unflinchingly portray the effects of trauma, violence, and war. There's no reset button, there's no glossing over that the Hunger Games have deeply fucked these characters up. There's a sense of psychological and emotional reality in these movies that's very much missing from other YA adaptations and even other action movies. The moment that really encapsulated that for me in this last movie was when we first see Johanna again: the doctors keep telling her she's safe, Johanna says to Katniss with furious incredulity, and the look she and Katniss share suggests there's no such thing.

Also: did anyone else think it was cruel and unusual punishment to have the closing credits song being Jennifer Lawrence singing the "deep in the meadow" lullaby she sang to Rue in the first movie? Because that seriously turned on the waterworks for me, all the more so because Lawrence doesn't have an especially polished voice, so it just felt very raw and real.
posted by yasaman at 2:01 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have enjoyed the series overall, having not read the books, but this installation felt strongly like 75 minutes of story heroically crammed into only 120 minutes of screen time. I suppose that is partly justified to give the actors a chance to project reactions to the losses their characters felt, but MJ2 seemed to drag in a way that the other movies didn't.
posted by Bringer Tom at 2:19 PM on November 22, 2015


Speaking of Haymitch, I really love the Haymitch/Katniss relationship, and Haymitch blindly trusting her with that "I'm with the Mockingjay" at the end was a perfect encapsulation of their relationship. There are a bunch of moments through the movies where Katniss and Haymitch just get each other, without much communication, and I love that.

Yes! I love the bit in the beginning of Mockingjay, when she first sees Haymitch and blames him for not rescuing Peeta, then tells him, "Now you say it," so he can blame her, too. Was that in the Mockingjay Part 1 movie?
posted by amarynth at 11:30 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some observations:

-Look, I know the chase/battle was taking place in a dark sewer, but I kept wishing I could at least see what was happening. Finnick was being very heroic, but all I could see was a smudge shoving other smudges. It didn't ratchet up the tension for me, it was just frustrating. (That said, I thought this was the best interpretations of the muttations so far.)

-PRETTY BUMMED that we didn't get the post-immolation Katniss hallucinations, mostly because I wanted Cinna to drop by like he does in the books.

-Fur panty emporium was not selling fur panties. I realize this is a relatively minor point but I hate it when wonderfully weird details get turned into more boring things. That said, I looooved Katniss's cape/coat.

-I thought Josh Hutcherson really killed it in this one-- he did an amazing job of showing why Gale could never hate Peeta, because Peeta is just so impossible to hate. Katniss also tries and sucks at it. When he was slamming his head into the butt of his gun my heart broke.

-This movie needed about 10x as much Johanna Mason.

-"let's pretend to be refugees so we can assassinate the president" made me wince, in terms of recent media narratives (that are as made up as this movie but still).

-I had hoped they would do more with the pods mining the city-- the sense that they were omnipresent and sadistic and Games-based in the book was much stronger.

I actually enjoyed the movie, but I thought they did less to realize the visual imagination of the book than the other movies have done, if that makes sense.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:39 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


When Haymitch kissed Effie, there was someone in my theater, in a quiet and high pitched voice: "What. What. What. What. What."

How did Natalie Dormer make it out of the tunnels? It seemed like her group got separated and mobbed by the mutts, but then they were running with the rest through that parking garage area.

I agree with everyone's analysis of the scene where Katniss votes yes. Haymitch's "I'm with the Mockingjay" in particular was incredibly deliberate and careful choice of words.

I was frustrated that we spent so long going not very far with Katniss's group, and then they ended up being irrelevant to the end of the war. Just off in their own little drama and then suddenly the war ends before they get a chance to actually do anything. The only thing to actually come out of their group was her apparent death prompting warring propaganda videos. Probably realistic, but frustrating when combined with how slow a lot of their scenes were.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:00 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought Josh Hutcherson really killed it in this one-- he did an amazing job of showing why Gale could never hate Peeta, because Peeta is just so impossible to hate. Katniss also tries and sucks at it. When he was slamming his head into the butt of his gun my heart broke.

YES. I've always been on Team Gale and I thought the movie made him seem more sympathetic than the books. But Josh Hutcherson really shined and I could have wept for Peeta seeing him struggle to keep it together in the war zone. And it was corny when he said "always" but it was a reminder that the real Peeta was there. And it all showed how monstrous Snow was to hurt him.
posted by kat518 at 4:09 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seeing it later tonight. Can't wait to come back here and talk it out-I drive my friends crazy overthinking these films.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:09 PM on November 23, 2015


Powerful movie. Saw it with my hubs in a theater with only one other couple in it (hey, Monday, late showing. )

I was wondering how they would handle the last half of the book, with Katniss being a gibbering wreck. They did gloss over quite a lot of that, but the scene with the cat got the point across.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:46 PM on November 23, 2015


I was always bothered by the book tying everything up into a happily ever after bow, so I guess I'm not all that surprised thats what we got. A picnic on the hill with a kid and a half. But I feel a better movie would have been to cut it after he asked her if she loved him, real or not real.
posted by sweetmarie at 8:49 PM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just saw the movie yesterday. I enjoyed it, and I agree with a lot of the points made here.

I also wanted a Cinna hallucination after the burn. And yes, Prim's death was underplayed, but yeah they wanted to avoid the blow back from younger fans.

It is also frustrating, and has been for me since the books, that her merry band of propaganda-turned-assassins crew was basically futile. But on reflection, that's how things can be in war. That it is usually won by throwing bodies at the front lines (and/or pulling a nasty dirty trick like those bombs) and some super awesome special forces team can have no effect.
posted by numaner at 9:04 AM on November 30, 2015


I was always bothered by the book tying everything up into a happily ever after bow, so I guess I'm not all that surprised thats what we got.

I did not at all think that the books had a "happily ever after" ending - it seemed to me more like a "life goes on and is at least less horrifying than it was before," but there's still some horror, in terms of Katniss and Peeta's PTSD and the fact that they are basically living in a ruin. The movie did seem to gloss over that.
posted by lunasol at 10:52 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


a better movie would have been to cut it after he asked her if she loved him, real or not real.

That's a reasonable place to cut, but when watching it I was feeling like they could have cut it even more aggressively if they really wanted to be a bit provocative. Imagine: Katniss shoots Coin, the mob rushes forward to kill Snow (their attitude towards Katniss ambiguous), and we get that beautifully framed shot of Coin lying on the cement with an arrow in her and a little bit of blood trailing out. Cut to title, roll credits.

People would have lost their shit, but it would have been sort of perfect.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:09 PM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


People would have lost their shit, but it would have been sort of perfect.

I would argue that the actual ending of the book is closer to perfect. The movie did that Dan Snyder-adapting-Watchmen thing where it mimicked the form of the ending with slavish devotion, but completely missed the point of the ending, and therefore the ending seemed like happily ever after-ing instead of "PTSD is forever THE END"
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:52 AM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Did anyone else love Donald Sutherland's absolutely terrifying and unhinged laughter when he realized what Katniss had done? I honestly thought that was one of the most strangely shocking, surprising, and haunting images of the entire series.
posted by treepour at 9:28 PM on December 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Detailed write up of the dances in the wedding scene.

I thought it looked like a contra, but there were some other bits (from the circle dance, I suppose) that obviously weren't, and we didn't see a lot of it at any rate, so I wasn't sure.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:43 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Out of all the Hunger Games movies, this was my favorite. I have a few gripes but thought it hit on the key emotional and dramatic moments (except for Prim's death).

I was certain after watching this trailer that Prim's death would be the death scene to end all death scenes in terms of kicking me swiftly in the feels. I agree with others who said it was underplayed when it happened and the scene where Katniss yells at the cat is jarring (but not in the intended way) because Prim's death was such a non-event. Emotionally, it would have been hard to draw people back into the rest of the movie if they were still reeling from Prim's book!death. There wouldn't be enough screen time to comfortably transition to the rest of the movie and do it justice.

The movie exceeded my expectations on the Gale/Katniss/Peeta love triangle. I wasn't thrilled with that in the books but thought it felt more realistic with the less Katniss-focused narrative. I particularly enjoyed the scene where Katniss is listing facts about Peeta and Gale just looks on with such sadness, as if he realizes he's lost (or was never winning).

I would have liked more Johanna but the military training scenes weren't something I really needed to watch. The relationship she and Katniss formed in the books would have played out well on screen.

Snow's death was wayyyy more gruesome than I expected. In the books he kind of slumped over and died as the arrow left Katniss' bow and Coin got hit instead (at least this is what I recall from reading it a years back). The movie removed all questions with regard to Katniss' intention of killing Coin at the moment she left the arrow sail. That was cool. The gruesome part was the apparent death-by-mob Snow got. That was hardcore and a much better death for him.

Coin felt more evil in the books with the build up to her being a poor choice for president and a person that it makes sense to kill coming gradually. In the movie it was like her last few appearances were practically shot with a "future evil leader" sign over her head.
posted by toomanycurls at 7:21 PM on December 3, 2015


I haven't read the books, but the grub-like toothy zombies in the tunnels annoyed me. Heretofore, Panem has been presented as a dystopian world populated by humans. It's set in the future, so even though it's post-apocalyptic the advances shown are plausible, e.g., the flaming dress Katniss wears in the Parade of Tributes, the gadgetry used to control the Hunger Games, the Tracker Jackers, etc. But not the evolution of new creatures. When suddenly our heroes are confronted by scrabbling eyeless baddies, it took me out of the terror evoked by the scene because they seemed so invented: gratuitous special effects.
posted by carmicha at 5:47 PM on December 5, 2015


I didn't read the tunnel creatures as evolved in any way though, more like genetically engineered weapons, which is in line with the rest of what we see. The mockingjay Katniss gets her title from is another evolved or engineered or something creature that's in the movie for a bit, although I understand that's an idea more developed in the books.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 6:07 PM on December 5, 2015


Yes, in the books, it's clear that the tunnel beings are genetically modified monsters. The books have more of these sorts of things than the movies: specially modified wolves play a big role in the first book.
posted by meese at 8:38 PM on December 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speaking of Prim's death....IIRC the next scene Katniss is in a hospital bed with Haymitch and her mom in attendance-at some point Katniss looks at her and goes "Mom?" and her mother doesn't even look at her, keeps on with whatever nurse thing she's doing...in retrospect that is quietly heartbreaking, that her mom can't even comfort her because she is so shattered herself-a lot about their relationship seems to be implied there.

Or I am overthinking a plate of Capital beans, whatever.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:52 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


But not the evolution of new creatures. When suddenly our heroes are confronted by scrabbling eyeless baddies, it took me out of the terror evoked by the scene because they seemed so invented: gratuitous special effects.

But part of the point of the book (that the movie failed to emphasize) is that their attempt to penetrate the Capitol is yet another round of the Games-- Snow has weaponized the city intentionally. I mean, they were invented, but by Collins, not the movie people.

Those monsters were in the book, and the movie recreated their image, but left out the part that terrified Katniss the most-- they were designed to smell like President Snow, like blood and roses.

“They are white, four-limbed, about the size of a full-grown human, but that’s where the comparisons stop. Naked, with long reptilian tails, arched backs, and heads that jut forward . . . The mutts fall to their bellies and skitter toward us on all fours.”

“For the first time, I get a good look at them. A mix of human and lizard and who knows what else. White, tight reptilian skin smeared with gore, clawed hands and feet, their faces a mess of conflicting features. Hissing, shrieking my name now, as their bodies contort in rage. Lashing out with tails and claws, taking huge chunks out of one another or their own bodies with wide, lathered mouths, driven mad by their need to destroy me.”

“No mutt is good. All are meant to damage you. Some take your life, like the monkeys. Others your reason, like the tracker jackers. However, the true atrocities, the most frightening, incorporate a perverse psychological twist designed to terrify the victim. The sight of the wolf mutts with the dead tributes’ eyes. The sound of the jabber jays replicating Prim’s tortured screams. The smell of Snow’s roses mixed with the victims’ blood. Carried across the sewer. Cutting through even this foulness. Making my heart run wild, my skin turn to ice, my lungs unable to suck air. It’s as if Snow’s breathing right in my face, telling me it’s time to die.”
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:48 AM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all of the context for the sewer creatures, folks; I guess I should read the books now.
posted by carmicha at 7:50 AM on December 7, 2015


Yes, the movies are probably better if you have that context. But be warned, if you are like most of us when you pick one up you won't be putting it down till you are done. So don't start reading in the evening unless you can sleep in the next day!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:33 AM on December 7, 2015


Finally saw this today.

First random thought: something I never knew I needed to see way fucking more of? NATALIE DORMER KICKING ASS WITH A FUCKOFF MACHINE GUN. More of this please. My ideal vote is a Dormer/Lawrence/Maisie Williams/Kiernan Shipka movie where they all kick every ass there is. Call me, Hollywood.

I disagree that Prim's death is undersold. Sure maybe they cut it down bc of fan backlash, and it still worked: we're plunged right into Katniss' head. Everything seems to be finally coming together for a moment, and then very suddenly not. Prim's quick death without being able to say goodbye (mirror to Katniss not being able to say goodbye after the Reaping in Catching Fire leaves a gap, a wound that won't quite heal.

"Stay with me"
"Always"

...punched me right in the feels and made my face leak. Katniss finally understood how to get through to real-Peeta, and it was by playing on his hopeless love for her. I was really, really impressed by Hutcherson's acting in this one. He was onscreen with some legends and held his own.

The filmmakers didn't do quite enough to show the passage of time. Even adding a line to Flickerman's bit ("And now, on Day 11 of Capitol Invasion Watch...") would have made it much more clear that all this stuff didn't just take place in about 36 hours.

Katniss' unambiguous dismissal of Gale was painful to watch. Coin's triumphant posing at the end was a poor choice (one of the few times I've ever seen Moore on screen where she seemed to just be reciting lines) both stylistically and for the tension they could have amped up by having her stand next to Snow, leaving a thread of ambiguity and surprise while the arrow flew. Sutherland's unhinged laughter was amazing though.

Side note: kinda freaky how the bombed Capitol, and its tunnels, looked so much like Fallout 3 and 4.

There's something I really liked in that the two men in the movies who absolutely have Katniss' back are both men of colour. (And telling, I think, that as far as I could see other than Cinna the Capitol was whiter than white--Snow's line in the greenhouse was perhaps over the top in leading one to certain conclusions, but perhaps necessary to hammer it home).

Katniss' mother was great. I can't remember seeing the actress in anything before these movies, and the scene when she's daubing Katniss' burns, watching her desperately want to retreat into the same dissociation that she did when her husband died, and not letting herself... I am so, so glad they didn't give her any maudlin lines, and just trusted her to write the performance on her face.

Effie and Haymitch kissing...!!!!!!!!!!! Totally changes every interaction they'd had up to now.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:11 PM on December 8, 2015


I think also that Coin sending Prim in to be blown up was the exact same message that Snow was sending previously: I own you. Do not defy me.

Can't remember, the book may have made that explicit.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:21 PM on December 8, 2015


I don't think it was in the book, but I agree with you, that absolutely makes sense.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:11 PM on December 8, 2015


I didn't read the books. I loved how Katniss proved at the end WHY she chose Peeta over Gale. Peeta was kind, though and through. He was good and kind and would never have been one to even suggest blowing up children. And Gale, in Katniss's absence, became a military man. A strategic military man who could see children and humans as just collateral. Just a means to an end. Katniss couldn't love that. I needed the scene at the end with the field to truly cement to me that Katniss loved Peeta, and not just as a protective person. The "Real or Not Real" snuggle in bed was still too asexual for me to see her loving Peeta. (Whatever that says about me...) Seeing them together with a family in the end helped me see what it was that Katniss really wanted in life and why she chose Peeta over Gale. She never wanted to be The Mockingjay. She never wanted to be the leader of the people. She never wanted to be a killer of people.

I took Katniss agreeing to the new Hunger Games as a way to ensure that she'd be able to kill Snow (or Coin) with no restrictions. Speaking with Snow before that meeting gave her more solid suspicions of Coin, and hearing Coin suggest a new Hunger Games confirmed to Katniss that more needed to be done.

Snow dying at the hands of the mob was really the best justice for him. No easy arrow-to-the-heart death for him.

While in the theatre, I also wondered how that letter from Plutarch was supposed to be, if Philip Seymour Hoffman hadn't died. I can almost see PSH with that little crooked grin and self-satisfied head-nod speaking to Katniss in the church (?) admitting how well that all panned out. :( :( :(

Katniss in that cold, empty house. Curled up on the sofa. Her home, but not her home. The whole things started out with her trying to save her sister's life. And after all of that time and all of that war and all of the pain and death, Prim still ended up dead. So what was it all for?!? Poor Katniss.

The minor little detail that bothered me was Katniss at the end with a baby in her arms. That did not feel like her baby. That is my only complaint with her acting.
posted by jillithd at 12:44 PM on December 9, 2015


And that baby was a giant looking baby.
posted by sweetmarie at 1:37 PM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Somewhere I remember reading that the children were her nephews.


I do agree it didn't seem like hers. She was holding it like a newborn, not an older baby, for one thing.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:38 PM on December 9, 2015


I think also that Coin sending Prim in to be blown up was the exact same message that Snow was sending previously: I own you. Do not defy me.

Can't remember, the book may have made that explicit.


IIRC, Katniss' conclusion in the book was that Coin deliberately put Prim in harm's way and sent the bombs to kill her. Snow nudged her to that conclusion (which I'm glad they kept).
posted by toomanycurls at 9:01 PM on December 9, 2015


I don't think Katniss chose Peeta in the way we would all consider it choice for a mate. Her fundamental characteristic is doing the thing that seems the best idea right now from the choices she's hemmed in with. I don't think that she chose him as OMG Peeta I lurvz Uuuuu; he's literally the only person in her world who can possibly understand what she's been through. And she feels she owes him a debt. And and, I don't think she realized that "not getting married" was an option.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:15 PM on December 9, 2015


I think Gale was remarkably astute when he said Katniss would choose whoever she couldn't survive without. The shared experience of the Hunger Games and the war clearly put Peeta in that category for her, and I agree, it isn't some grand romantic gesture on Katniss's part to choose him. Katniss/Peeta is such a thorny, fascinating relationship, one that has a lot more going on than any facile ~true love~ reading you might get on first impression. The inversion of gender roles alone is fodder for a ton of meta.
posted by yasaman at 10:49 PM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought there was no way to make this book into a movie. I'm glad I was wrong, they did a pretty solid job of it. A bit simplified, and the need to have some Heroic Action Sequences was at odds with the basic "war is really shitty" theme of the books. But it worked pretty well as a film. I liked that they kept it basically pretty depressing.

Also really struck by what a feminine story it is. I love the central romantic tension between Peeta and Gale, and in some since Katniss not really giving a shit because she's got more important things to worry about. I particularly liked the way the films distilled the two men into symbols of the war, and how of course Katniss ends up with poor broken Peeta.

Jennifer Lawrence turned out to be a hell of an actress to hang the movie series on. I hope she gets to have a long, broad career. Also struck by the casting for the minor roles. Castor was played by Wes Chatham, who's been just fantastic on the TV show The Expanse. Pollux is Elden Henson, also great in Daredevil. And of course Natalie Dormer as Cressida, also in Game of Thrones. It strikes me they're all sci-fi actors, and I kind of hate to see them all pigeonholed there. I think Lawrence could easily have a strong career outside of genre if she wants. OTOH if the money is good and she likes the work...
posted by Nelson at 6:36 AM on March 12, 2016


I think Lawrence could easily have a strong career outside of genre if she wants. OTOH if the money is good and she likes the work...

(She's won an oscar and three golden globes and been nominated for several more for not-sff genre work so I think she's doing ok.)
posted by phunniemee at 8:35 AM on March 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


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