And so concludes the film series of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games books. In the end, I think they did a great job of adaptation, although somehow this final installment didn't hit me with quite as much pow as its predecessors did. Okay, I do have to allow for a gulf of time between the two parts of Mockingjay (whereas I saw the first three films over the course of a couple days), and also the consideration that having read the books a couple of times now, I did know what was going to happen--but the sensation was there nonetheless. It has the definite feeling of "starting in the middle", which of course it does; and really, some of the things that a film would have to capture effectively to get the essence of the story are, I would say, impossible in that format. (The full sense of Peeta's psychological battle is just one of those.) Nonetheless, that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying, and again, I felt they did a fine job with a Herculean task. Much of the acting was excellent, there were a few moments of pretty effective comic relief that went beyond the book, and the visioning imagery of most of the scenes worked well with my own mind's eye.
The next step will be to wait a while, then go through the completist's task of rereading all three books, and then watching all four films, sequentially. (I'm that sort of geek.) :-)
I did find it interesting that the filmmakers did not flinch from the punchline (those who know the story will know what I'm talking about, without me spoiling it). In this tiresome age of relentless statism, it is almost surprising that such got past the censors, although it may yet remain to be seen how the film may be marginalized by those with a vested interest in doing so--it is still pretty new.
Speaking of which...
Man, is it a good thing there is absolutely, positively no irony in observing the greater Hunger Games storyline play itself out from a theater seat right here in good ol' exceptional, landadafree, homeadabrave, lightadaworld, furdachildren 'Murica.
No irony at all.
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