Just a brief rant, to start. Why are so many studios cashing in on popular stories by making two films from one book? The key section of that sentence might be “cashing in”.
In the Hunger Games series, “Mockingjay” is the last book in the trilogy and I have been wondering how on earth Hollywood might begin to handle such a powerful and accessible call to revolution? This author – Suzanne Collins – knows her classical myths, then crafts them into dystopian science fiction that pushes big political ideas.
Okay, I am a fan.
You lose a lot of Katniss but Jennifer Lawrence has such presence and style that she still leads the charges forward into battle, metaphorically. We meet Katniss again, marooned in District 13. It’s poignant to see the late Philip Seymour Hoffman looking ill, but acting well.
Julianne Moore is equal parts stalwart and scary. Donald Sutherland is creepy as always when he is playing the evil President Snow.
It’s a terrific ensemble, featuring Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci and so many more.
The less I tell you about the plot, the better off you will be. There are some liberties taken with the book, but these work and feel like good choices.
But breaking this book into two parts? With a cliffhanger? That’s just cruel.
An absolutely full Stratford East Picturehouse audience adored it. Me? I thoroughly enjoyed it while it was playing, but something of the revolutionary spirit of the book is lost. Do read the book, even if you haven’t read the other two in the trilogy. It’s a masterclass in writing political insurrection for teenage readers and it’s really very special.