“Part 2” picks up where the last movie left off, with Katniss and the rest of the rebel force closing in on the government and Panem’s leader, President Snow, played by the invaluable Donald Sutherland.
All the familiar faces of Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Natalie Dormer roll through so quickly, they feel like guests who have popped in only to say goodbye.
Katniss Everdeen, as played by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawerence over three years and four blockbusters has evolved from an unknown scrapper in the first film into a battle-scarred champion. An exemplar of female power on screen and off.
Suzanne Collins, who wrote the books, was influenced from reality television, the Iraq war and Roman Gladiator games. She put all these sources into a heroine who embodied the principle that it’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees. This resulted in a great character on the page and on the screen, where women are usually sidelined or trapped in the virgin-whore divide.
These movies just keep getting better and part of this is the director, Francis Lawerence. He has done an amazing job with this series and proved a perfect hire for the quality of his mise-en-scène. A trait witnessed in previous films of his like I Am Legend.
This is a story of war, peace and love. It’s aspirational and inspirational, personal and familiar. It speaks to the past and sometimes, unnervingly to the present.
This movie may rub people the wrong way because it isn’t as concerned with entertaining you anymore like the first two. More like the third installment, this is a lot darker and more of a war film. Even though this movie takes place in the future, it features a lot of modern warfare tactics. It talks about bombings, post-traumatic stress syndrome and psychological warfare.
The one thing that stands out about this film is that it doesn’t romanticize war. It’s really realistic in it’s portrayal, as much as you can be in a movie. They’re really trying to show you the horrors of war and the psychological impact these things have on people.
In that regard, it’s a highly relevant movie. The books and the film franchise grab your attention and won’t let you look away. It resonates within you because just like Katniss, people are starting to wake up that the world we’re living in is in a process of radical change.
One of the reasons Donald Sutherland wanted to get involved with The Hunger Games is because he believes there are problems in the world we keep ourselves blind to. In a recent interview he said: “Millennials need awakening from slumber. They’ve been consumed with telephones, tweeting, hopefully they will see these films and then maybe organize, stand up. It’s a neat marketing pitch. To go see the movie, not to swallow a Hollywood blockbusters box office but to fan a flame that will make the world a better place.”
In other words, the concluding film is a definite must-see. And no one in their right mind would argue with the Great Don himself.