Before going to the cinema, I had read some reviews, and they were mixed.
Some of them complained about the lack of action, while some others said that the pace was too slow. However, after watching it and experiencing it myself (by the way, I have not read the book, so I did not really know the plot), I felt that they did not do justice to the movie and the efforts put in by those who created it.
The movie started from where it was left off at the end of the second film,
when the tributes were airlifted out of the arena and brought to District 13, the District of the rebels. Since it’s part of the whole story, it should be fair to assume that at least you should have watched the first 2 movies so that you can watch the 3rd one without feeling lost. The full blown war between the rebels and Capitol has started, ignited by Katniss herself and what she had done in the arena during the last 2 hunger games. The wheel had been set into motion, and it would not stop until one side was totally defeated. That raging fire would touch everyone involved, forcing them to take side, to make their choice: Follow the rebels, or run back to the Capitol.
For Katniss, the fire was even hotter,
since her friend, her closest ally, the only person who could understand her feelings, seemed to have chosen the other side. She could not choose the Capitol, since that meant she would betray her mother, her sister, her childhood friend and all those who had put their faith in her, as the symbol of resistance against the Capitol.
That would also meant he had to accept all the bad things that she had witnessed Snow do to her and the Panem people under his rule. She could not do that, but she also could not stand there and watch Peeta being pushed to the point of no return and used as a pawn inside Snow’s manipulating hands.
She was in an extremely difficult situation,
where each and every action that she did might potentially break the thin balance and set things into another motion that was not controllable, and might end up with the loss of too many lives, or his life. That is probably the reason why Katniss was stretched to the point of breaking almost every minute, and Jennifer really could portray that emotion very clearly. From the hatred to the Capitol when she saw them murder innocent people to the state of shock when she saw Peeta on the screen, haggard and lifeless, every moment was framed and expressed purposefully and meaningfully.
Jennifer might be young, but she is more than ready to reign in Hollywood, to climb to the top and I have a strong belief that her career will be full of glory and great achievements, with classical roles that will be remembered for a long long time.
I really enjoyed watching Katniss,
and I could feel and share each emotion, each feeling, each mood change that she had in the whole movie. It was a bumpy ride for her, full of pains and constant struggles, and it did not end even when I almost thought it would end well at the end of the movie. End up it was pain at a higher level, the pain of helplessness, of seeing the person you love slip away from you but cannot do anything.
That’s the most painful experience, and it can break even the strongest mind and heart. Snow knew that very well, and he banked on that to make the risky but potentially lethal move to break Katniss and thereby extinguish the fire that she had set up for all the rebels. That is a bold move, I don’t know how it would turn out in the end, but that will be one of the pull factors for me to go see the final movie, to have an end to all those clues and questions.
Good job Jennifer, you can even shine and show your acting chop in a commercial, big budget movie like this, then you can do any script. You really have it in you.
There were a few new characters in this movie, like the girls and guys in the filming crew for Katniss’s documentary, and President Coin, but they did not feature much and are quite forgettable. Julianne Moore portrayed a strong willed, calculative, careful President Coin, who was very hard to guess, and able to make critical decisions. A more or less on par match with the evil President Snow.
Other than that, the rest of the characters just simply faded in and out of the screen without leaving any significant impression. Peeta did not appear much either, and whenever he appeared, he showed a lifeless, emotionless poker face as if he was sedated or controlled by someone else, and everything he said seemed to be scripted as they were delivered monotonously.
Peeta only showed some colours in the last televised speech where he broke away from the invisible control and warned the rebels about the impending attack, and at the very end when he showed the mad face of an animal, not a man, a weapon manipulated by Snow for one and only one purpose: To destroy Katniss. What pain can be greater than getting killed by the person you love. Even if the attempt is not successful, the emotional scar will be so great and hard to heal that it may make the person lose all her fighting spirit within herself, and Snow only needs that. Without the fire in her belly, Katniss will no longer be his threat, and the rebellion can be thwarted easily with all his bombs and weapons he had in store.
This book is really about Katniss and for Katniss,
and Jennifer really managed to find the spirit and the flow of the character, and done an awesome job bringing Katniss from the page to the wide screen. Kudos to her. And it really touched me deeply when I heard the Hanging Tree song, and the the martyrs walking to their deaths, heads held high and singing proudly. That’s the real spirit of sacrifice, for something greater than their own lives, for freedom and the rights to live of their families and children. It’s a kind of anthem, the kind that you can see with “Do you hear the people sing?”, at the barricade on the streets of Paris.
More photos from the movie: