So life has been crazy and I have been dealing with some other things lately, which I am planning to talk about in more detail tomorrow. Suffice it to say I have not been writing as much as I want or should be, thus no Litflix for Mockingjay Part 2 until now.
It is really interesting try to compare one whole movie to half a book. Honestly part of the problem I had with Mockingjay Part 1 is that it is not the whole story. The first part is all about Katniss coming to grips with being the symbol of the revolution and what that means. Dealing with the after effects of watching people dying around her when she thinks she is the one who really should be dead. The second part is about a plan of action. It is the culmination of all the turmoil that has been happening leading to the final confrontation. It means that in this movie we get a lot more of the action happening. Now this does follow along with the book, but the pacing between a movie and book function very differently.
Action Heavy Storytelling
In a movie an action heavy story means that the pace of the movie is fast. In a book the story can move quickly, but due to the fact that you are reading at your own rate it means that how fast it moves depends on how fast you read and how often you might read. Some of the critiques about Mockingjay Part 2 that I read were the fact that it was all action and no substance, but part of the problem is that a lot of the substance for the story is in part 1. The other piece that happens is that in the second part of the book because it is the main assault on the Capital it is also when a good number of important deaths occur. In the book these moments are really fleeting, but at the same time when it happens you might stop the book to take stock of what happened. In the movie though the scenes keep moving because it is meant to be watched all in one sitting so you take stock differently.
It took a second reading of the book for me to realize how quick some of the deaths were in the story. They effected me in a significant way, but really they were almost just passing in the story. It is interesting that the movie was actually able to expand these stories more, but they were still fleeting moments. At the same time this fits in with some of the theme of the second half of the book.
Death in War
Overall the Hunger Games are very much about war, battle, and death. The games that the Capital put on were to mimic the idea of battle with everyone going in and not knowing who would die. When the actual time for a revolution comes it is not a game any longer. It is real people, boots on the ground and often times deaths are not significant. People can die in the blink of an eye and in the middle of everything there is not time to dwell on it. The second part of the story is that battle. They are in the middle of city full of traps designed to kill anyone caught in them. There is not time to question why something happened because the only way to survive is to keep moving forward. The books and movie both do a good job of portraying this to some extent. Some of it is simply about the sheer number of people who started in the beginning and the number that actually make it to the end. There are other important moments, but if the gravity of the situation was not real it would be problematic.
The book Mockingjay has an ending and then it has a here’s where they are a few years from now ending. In books they often do this to give the reader an idea of where the characters really end up. Sometimes the problem with doing this in the movie as well is that it can feel like multiple endings in a short period of time. With a book you will take your time reading the different parts and a prologue can feel like a nice palate cleanser after a particularly tense story. It does not necessarily provide the same experience in a movie. Sometimes it can work, but other times it can feel unnecessary. Even though it follows the book I am not sure the prologue was really needed in this instance.
They changed some things, but for the most part they have followed pretty closely to the book. I guess my one thing is that the ending definitely felt simultaneously rushed and slow. What I mean with that is that it felt towards the end that they were just checking off a list of things that happened in the book, instead of figuring out how to wrap up the movie in its own right. There is something to be said to making the movie good on its own instead of having to hit all the points in the book just to hit them. At the same time overall I enjoyed the movie. It was a fun ride and a pretty good conclusion to the series. At the same time my favorite of all the movies is Catching Fire because it found the balance between the book and the movie perfectly for me.