“Mockingjay: Part 2′ hits mark


Callie Boren

Mockingjay is the final installment of the "Hunger Games" series.

By Callie Boren, Canyon High School

‘The emotional turmoil caused by “Mockingjay: Part II” works similarly to a bomb designed by Beetee: an explosion, just enough time to calm down, and a follow-up explosion. Against hovering warcraft-high expectations set by Part 1, the finale of the “Hunger Games” series reigns the victor.

Before reading this review or seeing the movie, I highly recommend seeing the three previous movies in the “Hunger Games” saga. The novel-based films follow Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, through a post-apocalyptic nation called Panem as she fights oppression and cruelty from the Capitol. Lawrence portrays Katniss exactly as she is portrayed in the books, beginning as an apathetic, standoffish hunter and progressing into a war-torn hero. In the movie, Lawrence must create a physical image of author Suzanne Collins’s vivid description of Katniss’s journey through emotional instability, painful loss, fierce love and heroism, and she does so with veteran skill. Other lead characters Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne are portrayed by Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, who play the twisted love triangle roles very well.

The three leads have been recognized throughout the release of the films and for many other roles as well, but I would like to pay tribute, if you will, to a few of the minor roles in “Mockingjay.” Katniss’s younger sister Primrose is portrayed by 15-year-old Willow Shields. Prim plays a key role in the first installment, but generally stays out of the action. In the finale, however, Prim finally does go into the action. With only minutes at a time to convey novel depth of character, Shields draws movie-goers in and brings out her character. Other minor roles that stood out include Haymitch Abernathy, played by Woody Harrelson, and Johanna Mason, played by Jena Malone. With significantly less screen time, Harrelson and Malone bring comic relief to the film merely with facial expression and quick remarks that balance the drama of the plot.

Whether achieved by the familiarly appealing dystopian setting, the intricate detail of the novels, or the all-star cast and crew behind the making of the films, the series has certainly achieved greatness. ”

Make-up rarely affects the overall portrayal of a setting or a plot, but in the “Hunger Games” movies, the faces of the Capitol are often decked with foot-long eyelashes and neon hair, pulled off only due to an incredibly talented crew of make-up artists that manage to make bizarre seem ordinary. The film also features wild CG effects at every turn including bursts of flame, three stories flooded with oil, countless explosions and mass gunfights. A talented team of animators and visual effects experts make these scenes elaborate and vivid without distracting from the plot.

As much as I love finding movies pleasing to the eye, pleasing the ear is also a top priority, and the score of “Mockingjay: Part II” exceeds expectations. Behind important dialogue and violent battle scenes, the score mixes the familiarity of music from the previous films with appropriate mood music for the events of this one. The background music guided audience reactions, slowing down for sadness and quickening for suspense. I was not truly satisfied, however, until hearing the music of the end credits, which has previously included Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, and Coldplay, but the artist for this credit reel was far more appropriately chosen, though I won’t say who. You’ll have to see for yourself.

“The Hunger Games” took the world by storm both as books and as movies. Whether achieved by the familiarly appealing dystopian setting, the intricate detail of the novels, or the all-star cast and crew behind the making of the films, the series has certainly achieved greatness. Those who have read the books can see the movies with peace of mind knowing they will be accurate portrayals, and those who have not read the books can see the movies knowing they are in for a brilliant combination of action and plot. Either way, the movies are worth seeing. The build-up is over, and the finale has arrived. Feast your eyes on the fantastic finale of “The Hunger Games.”