Hunger Games film sees characters fighting oppression
With injustice plaguing their dystopian future society, the world is calling for a symbol of hope. In the last film in the Hunger Games franchise, based on the best-selling series by author Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) serves as an inspiring emblem for those fighting against oppression. Fans will witness the end of the journey they have taken with these beloved characters, including Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth).
Lawrence’s character has evolved from an altruistic fighter to the “Girl on Fire” to an indomitable symbol of hope in the midst of the ongoing rebellion against President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol. Katniss refuses to be a pawn in Snow’s manipulative games and decides to take action into her own hands, with the rest of the rebel Squad 451 group. However, the battle is far from over until this epic finale with tension-filled final scenes.
Lawrence, who has shined as the main character for three years, described the process of letting go of the movies that defined her career as one of the most influential actresses in Hollywood.
“I feel that I had two endings with Katniss. One when we wrapped the film in Berlin … [which] was kind of saying goodbye to the movie and then I had a moment with my nephews about a year later. They played my children in the scene we shot,” Lawrence said. “It was an amazing closure to this character.”
Though the filming of Mockingjay is now over, Lawrence said she still holds on to the character.
“The feeling of accomplishment will happen more when the film finally comes out,” Lawrence said. “I didn’t really feel like I said goodbye to [Katniss].”
After the film, fans will also not feel ready to let go of Katniss and her comrades. Compared to the written characters from the book series, the re-envisioned trifecta of Katniss, Peeta and Gale give viewers a whole new outlook on bringing change to a disintegrating world — a current real-life concept that is filmed in a post-apocalyptic setting.
Hutcherson’s character Peeta also plays a major role in restoring hope in Panem. Peeta goes through periods of a perplexing dual nature that cause him to undergo waves of demented fury due to his memory being hijacked by opposing forces. Once criticized as a static character, Peeta was applauded by film producer Nina Jacobson for his growth throughout the last film.
“[Peeta] starts reconnecting with Katniss, step by tiny step, [which] is, in a way … very touching,” Jacobson said. “Your heart breaks for him, but you see that he has a chance to return to who he was, even if nothing will ever be the same.”
After being introduced to the Games, the audience knows that nothing will ever be the same for these characters, who have been exposed to war and extreme poverty, among other disasters that have befallen Panem. However, regaining their down-to-earth identities through camaraderie and friendship with others against the tyranny of the Capitol, including new members like Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and Boggs (Mahershala Ali), makes their cause even more worthwhile.
However, Katniss and Peeta seem to have a better grasp on their beliefs than Gale. Hemsworth described the moral issues that his character battles in addition to the extremity of his physical combat.
“For a long time, he didn’t really have any power to do anything,” Hemsworth said. “For this last part, he’s front and center, and he’s able to really make an impact. I think it all kind of goes to his head a little bit, and he loses sight of his own morals and values.”
The biggest takeaway audience members will receive from these three characters is how to stay true to themselves during global disorder. With their humble and meager beginnings from District 12, Katniss, Peeta and Gale are ready to tackle the previously shimmering and idealistic Capitol that houses President Snow, who enjoys toying with the Mockingjay. Katniss’s fierceness symbolizes the rebellion needed after the 75-year tradition of unnecessary bloodbath.
Lawrence said she wants viewers to emulate her character’s courage, which they have grown up with and seen throughout the previous movies.
“I hope that everybody’s going to take away something different from each film as they get older,” Lawrence said. “Our audience will grow and learn more or see more of themselves or see more of what they want from this world or this country.”