Five things we’ve learnt from Mockingjay Part Two

Copyright Lionsgate

OK, things we’ve learnt is pushing it. More of a ‘five things that I noticed that were interesting from Mockingjay Part 2’-but I can’t really use that as a title now, can I? I was a fan of the book, not so much Part 1 (also reviewed at that link). The compilation of thoughts varies from some interesting interpretations to general points, but does contain spoilers (sorry about that), so if you haven’t read the books or seen the film, be warned…

5. The field of bones doesn’t come across

Though the film contained the epilogue of the book, and it all looked very nice, all quaint and rustic, it didn’t really come across as the ending to the book. Katniss is far more traumatised in the books, and more to the point, the fact that the fields are a “graveyard” does not come across at all. Plainly it would have been tricky, but it still feels like something was lost, and something was not quite on the note.

4. Soliloquies in thoughts don’t work in films

Related to number 3, Katniss’ thoughts and first person narration is lost in the film. This is fairly obviously due to the complications of how to present them, for both narration over the top of action and speaking the emotions fails. Narration over the top loses the sense of present occurrences garnered by the film, and gives it a somewhat tacky quality; whilst speaking emotions to someone else changes the dynamic of relationships and to oneself gives an edge of madness or delusion.

3. Katniss is a better person in the films

One of the more intriguing things in the books was how dark a character Katniss became towards the end, especially in Mockingjay (go to the link for my review of the book). Her soliloquies were thrilling in their darkness, in how much she fought her destiny-almost to the point of becoming an antihero. In the films, she always knows what to say, she is caring, and she is a true figurehead. But for all that, I prefer the Katniss of the books, the one who is not perfect. We love her because of her flaws, heroes and heroines have to be flawed and human so that they are relatable. And for me, the Katniss of the films does not do that as well as the Katniss of the books.

2. Plutarch wins the Hunger Games

I believe that there’s a quote in the film, when one of the characters realises that if there’s a winner of the Hunger Games, it’s Plutarch (along the lines of “and they say no-one wins the Hunger Games…”). He goes from high-up in the Capitol set-up, close to Snow, to a commander with the rebels-even after Coin’s death. He doesn’t feature a tremendous amount, but from his appearances he seems extremely Machiavellian-a survivor who can pick the right side; and the right side for him has nothing to do with morals. It’s the side that will hold out. He manages to play Snow and make him view Plutarch as an ally, but even during the revolution, where his loyalties lie-if such a man has loyalties-is uncertain.

1. Katniss knew she was going to kill Coin before the ceremony

This is an interesting one, and again a difference from the books. The books seem to indicate that Katniss went out to kill Snow with no intention of killing Coin, whereas in the films she had already made up her mind to kill Coin-or was at least strongly considering it. We can see this in her actions before she goes out; slipping the Nightlock pill into her glove. There is no reason for her to take it with her to kill Snow, much less to place it in such an accessible place. The inference then is that she had already decided that it would be Coin she killed before going out. This is quite a big leap from the book, and personally I prefer the ambiguity of the book.

Oh go on then, one more. Under a different name (Your Favourite Colour is Green), everyone’s favourite (albeit only) Jennifer Lawrence song The Hanging Tree returns, in instrumental form

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