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Movie Night - Late to the Hunger Games Party - Mockingjay Part 2

Okay I admit it I am a little late to the Hunger Games Party.  I haven't read the books although they are currently working their way to the top of my TBR (To Be Read) pile and I've kind of seen all the films but not in the right order. There are reasons for my tardiness but that's another story.   

Anyway, the other weekend I was having a movie night with a girlfriend and the movie we plumed for was Mockingly part 2.  As we took our seats with our favourite Starbucks tea and a selection of goodies from their desert range we admitted to each other that neither one of us had seen Mockingjay part 1.  Oh dear!  The last Hunger Games I'd seen was Catching Fire, which was actually the first I'd seen of the series!  However my friend has read the novels so she gave me a quick update on what I'd missed.  

So the movie started and I have to say I was impressed.  I did feel a little lost on the Peeta/Katniss relationship as last I'd seen he was giving her a pearl on the beach.  I loved the action in the movie and there were some truly moving scenes but I did leave with more questions than I had answers - not because of the movie more of my lack of background going in to it.  It wasn't like a Mission Impossible style movie or a James Bond where what comes before doesn't really impact on the movie your seeing in that moment.  I think it's also a little easier to miss a Harry Potter and still know where you are in the series because each film has it's own story with a tie that binds all the way through.  I felt Mockingly really needed that connection from part 1 to part 2 for me. 
Peeta, Katniss & Gale 

So, off I went and back tracked back to the beginning and have now watched all the films in order including a second sitting of Mockingjay, I'm never adverse to seeing a good film multiple times.  I'm also glad to say I left the second showing satisfied with the way the series was presented and how much love was shown to themes and characters.  

I remember the hype which surrounded the first movie and the choice of the three lead actors, (Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutchinson), it reminded me of the drama which surrounded the casting of Robert Pattinson as Edward in Twilight many moons ago.  

Now, I don't have a connection to the characters in the book as yet, when I read them I will, I aways do but the images I will have in my head of them will be these actors and I don't find that at all disappointing.  

Jennifer Lawrence is an unusual actress to me, one of the first films I saw her in was American Hustle, in which she really held her own against Christian Bale an actor twice her age with an amazing track record in movies.  I've seen other actors loose their sparkle when next to his intensity on screen but Jennifer managed to shine and even steal a scene or two.  I think she has an amazing future ahead and I don't think any of her roles will be traditional or boring.  

She made the character of Katniss dynamic throughout the series, she was masculine enough to show her survival skill and equal her hunting partner in Gale, while she showed tenderness and mothering instincts towards Prim and then the developing and deepening connection with Peeta where she was able to show vulnerability without over expressing each emotion.  

My only familiarity with Liam Hemsworth apart from him being the arm candy of Miley Cyrus a long time ago was his appearance in "Knowing" alongside Nicholas Cage.  Now that wasn't the most memorable role and I did have to look up his IMDB record to see what I might have seen him in.  While I'm more familiar with the older brother Chris, I think Liam has a chance of rivalling his brother in time.   His role as Gale I think was perfect for him, he was the tall, strong reliable male influence for Katniss and Prim.  He also played the Soldier with the military strategy very well in later episodes.  I also like that his relationship with Peeta wasn't confrontational as it could well have been.  

Josh Hutchinson was probably the only one of the three who's work I was familiar with, having seen him in Zathura and more recently Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Journey 2 the Mysterious Island.  He strikes me as another Christian Bale, a child actor who can transition in to adult roles and continue to develop in to a great screen presence.  He played Peeta with great emotional depth and managed to convey the changes in Peeta's personality from the star-crossed lover to tortured sole with raw emotion that not many actors are comfortable to show openly.  

This film had an amazing supporting cast with some truly wonderful actors, especially Philip Seymour Hoffman who play Plutarch with grace and style as only he could.  Stanley Tucci never fails to amaze and Elizabeth Banks brought Effie Trinket to life in a beautifully graceful and glamorous way that doesn't hide her personality behind the mask of make up and hair.  
Effie Trinket 

All in all as a series I really enjoyed the Hunger Games.  I think Katniss as a strong female lead is a great role model for women and Lawrence as an actor is great inspiration to those younger than herself.  I will definitely be watching again once I read the books.  


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