Thursday, November 26, 2015

On the issues: Mockingjay Part 2

Warning!! This post will contain spoilers for Mockingjay Part 2, so don't read if you haven't seen the movie 
(and/or haven't read the books) and don't want to spoil it for yourself!

Now that that's out of the way, I want to talk about Mockingjay Part 2. Let me preface all of this by saying that I read the book back when it came out. I have a selective memory that usually does not select to remember things I've read in the past (hence, the blog - to remember), so I basically went into this movie with only a very basic idea of what was going to happen.

Part one of Mockingjay had its own issues. Mostly, it was painfully slow. Still, I can get into a slow movie as long as it's interesting. Case in point, The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, although I know several people who fell asleep because there isn't much action. So I honestly enjoyed Mockingjay Part 1.

But there has been a lot of complaining about the final installment of the Hunger Games series. I have seen the same few issues brought up over and over (and over and over) over the last few days and I want to weigh in with my two cents.

1) It needed an R rating. 

This is one that I totally agree with, to be honest. The book, from what I recall, is a bloody one. I know that several scenes had to be cut from the final edit of the film because they did not fit within a PG-13 MPAA rating. I realize that the safer rating was maintained in order to ensure a younger audience, which the films are geared toward, would be able to get into the theater without their parents, but I definitely think that an R rating would have been much truer to the book and its content.

2) Parts 1 & 2 should've been one movie.

Again, I kind of agree. Despite enjoying both these films overall, I do think that whoever decided to split the final book (which was arguably the worst in the trilogy) into two parts did it as an obvious cash grab. If I'm not mistaken, it all began with Harry Potter, but that's because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a MASSIVE book! There was just no way to cram everything into one film. Meanwhile, Mockingjay was less than half the size of Deathly Hallows and could easily have been one movie. Luckily, I've seen a lot of talk about a fan edit, which will cut out all of the fluff.

3) Prim's death is too fast. 

And here's where my controversial nature is going to shine through. I think that, while the quickness which with Prim is there and gone may not allow moviegoers time to process what has happened, that is the way things often happen in war. Despite the film's too-safe rating, I feel like this particular part conveyed war in a more realistic manner. War isn't pretty and it doesn't allow for time to process things. While I never saw actual battle in Afghanistan, I did experience many mortar attacks right outside my bedroom, and trust me when I say bombs don't care about the time you need to process events.

4) Katniss should've ended up with Gale. 

Again, I can't agree. While Gale may not have intentionally been responsible for the death of Prim, he did indirectly cause it. Whether or not Katniss' rational mind could acknowledge that Gale didn't set off the bomb himself, I can totally understand why she could not get over the fact that her sister might still be alive without his involvement. That being said, I don't necessarily think that Katniss should've ended up with Peeta either. I don't quite see why it had to be one or the other. I'm Team Neither.

5) Why did Katniss settle down and have kids?

Hopefully I don't ruffle any feathers with this but... I was surprised and confused by this too. Sure, I can understand that Katniss might have wanted a break after leading a successful revolution, but the ending seems to completely contradict everything we've learned about her up until that point. Most women do eventually settle down and have kids, but not all of them do. Not that there's any problem with settling down and having babies. It's just not what I expected and I was a little surprised that Collins chose to end the story that way.

As I've said, I did enjoy all four movies in this series, although I have my favorites. I'll end up buying Part 2 as soon as it comes out on blu-ray, I'm sure! I'm curious to hear your opinions on Mockingjay Part 2. Do you agree with the common complaints regarding the film? Or do you love it just the way it is?