The popularity of film franchises has grown significantly during the last decades. The Hunger Games film franchise is a perfect example of how the film adaptation can contribute to the overall popularity of the fiction story and broaden its audience worldwide. Mockingjay – Part II can be considered a decent ending of the Hunger Games film franchise, as it conveys the social, cultural, and political messages reflecting the main themes of the story.
Comprehensive Analysis of the Film
The Hunger Games film series present an example of an excellent franchise and consist of four subsequent adventure films based on the trilogy of the same name authored by an American writer Suzanne Collins. All four movies were produced by Nina Jacobson and distributed by Lionsgate in the United States, though were released in numerous countries across the globe (with the highest box office gross on the territory of North America).
Mockingjay – Part II is the last part of the film series. The final installment in the Hunger Games film series was released in 2015, directed by Francis Lawrence, with a screenplay authored by Peter Craig and Danny Strong.
The plot of the movie is based on the final stage of the struggle between the rebels and Capitol and the destiny of Katniss, the main protagonist, during the war and after it. The scenes of the movie are full of the depictions of civil war battles. The main heroine experiences significant struggle, both inner and outward.
While the confrontation with the Capitol forces Katniss to participate in full-fledged battles, she experiences personal tragedies, including the mental suffering of her beloved person Peeta and the death of her beloved sister Primrose. The concluding scenes of the film depict the life of the main heroine after the end of the war, her reuniting with Peeta, and their two children ().
The main themes of the story depicted in the film include the survival in dystopian reality, social inequality, the struggle against the totalitarian government, the unequal distribution of power and goods in the society controlled by a powerful minority, etc. Some of the main motives include love, death, war, hope, etc.
The themes and motives explored in the film reveal its thought-provoking nature. The movie is not aimed at entertaining the viewers with the help of humor and easy-to-follow cheerful plot. Instead, it explores deep and complicated themes and motivates the viewer to think and analyze the plot of this fiction film as applied to the reality.
Though most of the scenes of the movie can be regarded as rather dark and lacking cheerfulness, the overall message of the film is optimistic, as it gives hope and is aimed at demonstrating that the type of struggle depicted in it is worthy, even despite the number of sacrifices it demands.
The atmosphere of the film is dark and is full of gloomy colors. Most of the scenes in the final part are depicted in somber and grayish colors, which can be contrasted with the more vivid color spectrum of the previous parts. However, the choice of such colors can be considered appropriate, as the events depicted in the film are mostly related to war and suffering of people.
However, the meaning of the last part can be fully understood by a viewer only after watching the previous part of the series. In another case, the viewer is likely to be confused and fail to understand the cause-and-effect relation between the events depicted in the movie.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II” is a production of the cinema of the United States, often referred to as Hollywood. The United States cinema is the oldest and the largest film industry in the world and is considered the primary source of the most commercially successful movies in the world (Hall & Neale, 2010).
While there are “Big Six” majors, including 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount, Columbia, Universal, and Walt Disney Studios, which are mostly regarded as the sources of the biggest number of commercial movies, there is also a number of mini-majors or independent production studios, which are considered less commercially-motivated (Levison, 2013).
Lionsgate Films is a film production studio, which can be considered a distinct part of the industry, as it is one of the biggest mini-majors. However, the commercial success of the Hunger Games, preceded by the huge popularity and financial revenues earned by Twilight Saga and the Expendables, encouraged the studio to get on the way to becoming a new major studio due to the high box offices it receives.
The Hollywood industry can be characterized by strong commercial motivation, high competitiveness, and leading role in the entertainment services industry. The primary goal of Hollywood is to create commercially successful films. Therefore, the commercial nature of the industry, which can be contrasted with the independent film industry, determines the nature and types of products, which are mostly aimed at mass audiences.
The high competitiveness in the industry is caused by the abundance of film studios motivated to become of the industry for commercial purposes. The American cinema industry has the biggest number of directors, actors, and producers competing for earning the popularity among the American and international audience.
The main aim of the industry is to entertain. Such feature determines the themes and motives explored in its movies, as though many Hollywood movies explore decent themes, their staginess remains the priority of the producers, as it guarantees the entertaining effect.
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II” can be considered a typical product of Hollywood industry, as its producers put a heavy emphasis on special effects and other visual features contributing to the entertaining mission of the film.
However, the movie cannot be considered as purely entertaining due to the exploration of numerous complicated themes related to the human nature and social survival presented in it. The movie presents a perfect illustration of how the Hollywood studios manage to combine the deep meaning of the plot with the spectacular visual aspect of the Western cinematography. Such combination enables films of such type to gain popularity both among the entertainment-motivated audience and the public willing to enjoy thought-provoking movies.
Social Context Analysis
The socio-cultural context of the last part of the Hunger Games film franchise is related to the setting created by the directors of the film. Though being a fiction, the whole franchise, as well as Collins’ trilogy, has many allusions to the real world.
Collins, the author of the trilogy, claims that one of the crucial moments that inspired her to write the Hunger Games occurred when he was watching TV and ran into a reality-show after the program covering the events of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (Hunter, 2014). Such context predetermined the emphasis on the theme of war explored in the story.
Therefore, it can be said that the wars occurring in different parts of the world became the social context of the trilogy and subsequent film adaptation. The final part of the film series explores this theme in the depth, as the scenes of the movie explicitly depict the suffering of people, including the most vulnerable groups of the population like children, during the armed conflicts.
The film was released nearly a month ago in the time when numerous countries across the globe experienced armed conflicts and the direct severely negative consequences – millions of deaths of innocent people. The personal tragedy of the main heroine who witnesses the death of her beloved sister reflects millions of personal stories of people that face the disastrous consequences of civil wars in their countries.
Such social context of the film makes it seem rather realistic and tied to our real world, even though the events depicted in the movie are fiction. The product of the imagination of the author was largely inspired by the real social crisis caused by numerous wars occurring across the globe.
Starvation and struggle for food are other themes explored in the movie that have roots in the real society. Collins was inspired to depict the malnutrition dominating Panem by the starvation experienced by millions of people all over the world. The American author writing for the Western public has managed to create the story that enables the population of Western countries to explore what it is like to be in the continuous struggle for the source of food.
The survival mode of life of the citizens of Panem reflects the way of living led by numerous human beings living on our planet. The Hunger Games encourage the viewer to see the dark side of modern society that is often left without attention by the population that enjoys the advantages of living in developed countries.
The government of Panema presenting the greedy, powerful, and violent minority living at the expense of the suffering majority reflects the current situation in the global community. The hunger depicted in the novel and the film adaptation reflects poverty and social inequalities caused by the gap between wealthy classes and poor workers, as well as between the wealthy nations exploiting the Earth resources and the poor and financially dependent nations struggling to survive.
The dominance of mass media in the life of modern people is another strong motive in the story that has originated from the real cultural context. The Hunger Games portray the society that is continuously consuming the media products prepared by the ruling class for distracting the attention of population from real problems and controlling their consciousness.
Collins has depicted the society whose culture is dominated and controlled by mass media serving as puppet dolls in the hands of the government (Henthorne, 2012). Such depiction reflects the real cultural situation in America, where the books and the movies were released, and all over the world.
The primary audience for the movie includes the fans of Collins’ trilogy, which are mostly the teenagers. The book, which is adapted for the film series is considered a teenage epic based on the story about the heroine, who is a rebellious teenager. Therefore, the primary audience of Mockingjay – Part II is the American teenagers and their peers in other countries.
Though possessing the typical features of teenage epos, The Hunger Games stand out from the rest of teenage franchises by conveying serious political, social, and cultural messages (Heit, 2015). The trilogy, along with the movie explores the themes of social inequality, control of consciousness, flaws of authoritarian states, etc. The thought-provoking nature of the story predetermines the secondary audience, which consists of the adults who understand the initial messages of the movie and are interested in its ideological meaning.
The tertiary audience of the movie consists of the adults who accompany their teenage children due to the PG-13 rating received by the movie. Such rating cautions the parents that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 and suggests the parental accompaniment of the young viewers during the demonstration of the movie. PG-13 rating of the movie was caused by the depictions of violence presented in it, including explosions, shoot-outs, several emotional death scenes, etc. (What parents need to know, 2015).
However, the depiction of violence in the film can be considered to have positive effects, as the movie shows the violent actions of government as distinctly negative ones and portrays unwarranted violence as unacceptable. The creators of the movie have managed to avoid portraying the violence as the realization of positive power and strength and minimized the possible societal debilitating effects of the depiction of violence in the film.
The movie focuses on the mass audience, as it explores the themes and motives that are understandable for most people. The language used by the protagonists, the main events and the overall messages of the movie are easy to understand for the majority of the population.
Mockingjay – Part II can be considered a decent conclusion to the Hunger Games series, as it masterfully depicts the events that give the story completeness and meaningfulness. The final part of the film franchise explores many social and cultural themes and is aimed at satisfying the demands of the varied audience.
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Henthorne, T. (2012). Approaching the Hunger Games trilogy: A literary and cultural analysis. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. Web.
Hunter, N. (2014). Suzanne Collins. London: Raintree. Web.
Levison, L. (2013). Filmmakers and financing: Business plans for independents. Burlington, Massachusetts: Focal Press. Web.
What parents need to know. (2015). Web.