By Raj Chidambaram
I saw the Mockingjay double-feature Wednesday night. I enjoy going to these types of events because you usually receive some cool stuff, the prices are fair, the real fans always come out, and you can have some lively conversation. It’s also a plus to get to see the movie early.
The theater was about a third full and as per the usual tradition with these types of events, a trivia question game about the film series—and occasionally about films in general—was conducted and prizes were awarded. I ended up being called on the most and won a Mockingjay Part 2 poster, a Victor necklace from Catching Fire, and a bag of M&M candy.
I’ll talk briefly about Mockingjay Part 1 as it was part of the double feature, but I’m sure you’re all reading this for my thoughts on the second Mockingjay. I wasn’t a huge fan of Mockingjay Part 1. Though I have not read the book, I did do a little research as well as talking about it to the other guests and I didn’t think the movie needed to be split into two parts. No film can ever capture every detail of the book but the book was just under 400 pages. The last Harry Potter book was double the length and definitely needed two movies, but Mockingjay did not. The total combined run time of both movies is 260 minutes (four hours and twenty minutes). I think that’s a long time for a 400-page book when it’s known that you can’t cover all the material of the book. I liked the political aspect of Part 1, however—speaking again about duration—it was a poorly paced film. There wasn’t a lot of action and really, not much happened in the two-hour runtime.
Then there was Jennifer Lawrence. While I have enjoyed her films in the past (enjoyed, not loved), I think she was not the best cast for the role of Katniss. She was decent in the first film, better in the second, but not so much in the third.
The third film (Mockingjay Part 1) was all about propaganda and she was supposed to be bad when it was fake and in the studio, but she wasn’t much better when she stepped into the “real” world.
Alright, so let’s dive into part two because that’s what everyone is here for.
The first half of Mockingjay Part 2 was essentially a continuation of the boring propaganda of Part 1. Even though they entered the Capitol they were still doing propaganda for the first hour. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance, however, did improve when they moved into the action, so don’t think that I’m a J-Law hater. I think the character is partially to blame though. Katniss is boring without her cast of supporting characters. Speaking of which, the supporting cast of the film were excellent. I liked Gale, I’ve always been a Finnick fan, and what they did with Peeta’s character was awesome. Haymitch is fun as always and Effie, well, she’s Effie. I also loved how the games entered the real world. What I enjoyed about the first two movies were the games themselves, the action, the suspense. A bit of the suspense was ruined here because of the “Holo” but it was still exciting to watch.
The ending, although like ten minutes too long, was a decent conclusion for the characters for me and overall the movie was decent. They could have easily combined parts one and two but as an individual film, Mockingjay Part 2 was alright. It had a slow first half, some solid action, and a slow ending but the overall package was decent.