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Mockingjay - Part II ends on an unsatisfactory note

Jennifer Lawrence tries her best to make you keep watching.

November 28, 2015 01:32 am | Updated November 29, 2015 04:48 am IST

A scene from Mockingjay - Part I

A scene from Mockingjay - Part I

In a scene in the early part of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part II , Johanna Mason tells Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), our protagonist, that the speech she gave the night before, appealing to all districts to come together and fight the cruel, corrupt and mighty Capitol was inspiring. So much so, that she could feel her skin erupt in goose pimples.

You may ask yourself, what was so great about the speech? The problem with the scene also becomes a major problem with this epic sci-fi thriller, the last of the series. You know the magnitude of the proceedings; you know a lot is at stake. Although the rebels – the 12 districts of Panem – the dystopian universe of The Hunger Games series, have joined forces against President Snow – the prime antagonist– it is a long way before they can defeat him. Danger lurks at every turn as they march to Snow’s mansion; the empty dystopian streets with their abandoned high-rises are a minefield of black oil (pod), genetically mutated animals (mutts) and hidden cameras. They also have a bit of in-fighting, a potential love triangle and an agenda-driven president (Julianne Moore) of their own to deal with. You can see the characters getting affected by all this. But it doesn’t affect you as much.

Genre: Sci-fi adventure Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson Director: Francis Lawrence Storyline: Districts of Panem unite against President Snow’s cruel regime under the leadership of Katniss Everdeen

Part of the problem can be attributed to the predictable route the movie takes. It is too close to the fantasy tropes, its eventual triumph of good over evil, for its own good. At the same time, it is too grim to be fun. It is also not satisfyingly twisted and dark. Jennifer Lawrence tries her best to keep you riveted. The reluctant leader of the rebellion carries the emotional baggage of the earlier Hunger Games films on her face, pale and unglamorous, but guided by steely determination. As an allegory, Mockingjay - Part II fails to give us anything that we haven’t seen in the movies yet. The twist in the end is hardly a twist at all. The film closes down the series (as of now), but not the way you would have wanted it.

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