Although it seems like The Hunger Games film franchise has been a part of our lives every November, it was only a few years ago that we were introduced to Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, and the rest of Panem on the silver screen. This Friday, fans will be preparing their goodbyes with The Mockingjay Part I, the first of two films that will end the series for good. The Hunger Games films never fell short when translating the books to film, however, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the series plays out in the two-part Mockingjay adaptation.
As everyone who is a fan of the books or series knows, Mockingjay will start off with Katniss being rescued from the Quarter Quell and sent to District 13 to work with the rebels against the capitol. In the book, Collins starts off this plot twist strong, but as the book goes on, it becomes the build-up to a poorly executed ending. This was partly due to the way Katniss went from a strong, empowered female protagonist to a indecisive, empty, powerless pawn. This abrupt change in her behavior was a way for Collins to reintroduce the concept of Peeta and Katniss as a romantic couple, but it came off as Katniss being passed off to Peeta as a consolation prize for being the only one stick around after the revolution.
The fact that the structure of the plot and the character development was so poor in the final book makes the quality of Mockingjay Part I and II so inconclusive. Even the cast’s portrayal of these characters are somewhat up in the air. Jennifer Lawrence always does an incredible job with any role, and she’s especially a fantastic Katniss. However, it’s easy to wonder if she can pull off someone so traumatized. Josh Hutcherson also has done a great job of playing a weak character like Peeta, but it’s uncertain how he will handle being in a position of power like he will be with the capitol in Part I. I wouldn’t normally be apprehensive how these two or the rest of the cast will pull off a character, but Collins put them in such a compromising position. It will be difficult to buy into their characters when the story itself is so substandard.
Another factor that could make or break this film is the idea of separating this story into two parts. Given that the other books comfortably fit into two hours, one has to wonder how this will be executed. It’s understandable that The Hunger Games producers want to follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter and Twilight. Yet, unlike those adaptations, it’s questionable on how this will really work. The only way this can go smoothly is if the producers add more to what Collins gave us in the end. Usually it’s frustrating when a movie changes the course of a book, but in this case, I’d rather not relive the disappointment I felt when I put down the books two years ago.
All in all, it’s really about execution, but I have a feeling that fans will enjoy it whether or not the producers decide to portray the book moment by moment. Personally, I’m not looking forward to the last two movies as I have a feeling I’m not going to enjoy seeing it played out on screen just like I did not enjoy reading the book. In fact, I’m almost positive I’m going to wait until the movies comes out on Netflix. I’m not really comfortable with wasting two hours in a theater only to watch a book’s amateur ending come to life.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 hits theaters tomorrow.
Lauren Stern is the managing editor of Pop-BReak.com and is responsible for curating the site’s content. This includes managing the editorial staff, coordinating the content calendar, and assigning publishing dates and deadlines. She graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She spends her free time searching for the best gluten-free food in the Tri-State area, playing with her dogs, and reading an insane amount of books. She tweets constantly about pop culture and social issues and hopes you follow her musings @laurenpstern.