Are you prepared for the end?

The final chapter in the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise drops today, and it is fair to say, everyone is hyped. It’ll be a spectacle and a triumph as Katniss throws over the government and President Snow… or will she?

In amongst all the hype, let’s look at some of the things ‘The Hunger Games’ got totally right, from underlying political statements to having a really believable female lead.

1. George R.R. Martin syndrome (book and film)

It is no secret that the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise has taken a few characters out of the picture. In fact, it would be fair to say that in every film/book there has always been a death toll of 10, possibly higher. And the way these deaths are done is unlike anywhere else. In the book, the deaths are heavily detailed, and quite harrowing. In the film, they’re toned down, but not by much. They certainly didn’t pull any punches when it came to Rue. It’s a very realistic approach to death in a fictional setting.

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2. Sneak peek at the Tories’ campaign for 2050 (book and film)

There is a very… political feel to the books and the films. How oppressed the districts are, how corrupt the Hunger Games are shown to be, and that it all comes down to privilege. If you’re from a wealthy district, chances are, you’ll win. And the public hold the last say in whether you win or lose. It revolves around money. It’s a dystopian future that parallels ours in some ways.

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3. This is not a typical love story (book and film)

Seriously, it’s not. Katniss isn’t torn between lovers. She is a strong-willed, strong-minded young lady who simply does what’s needed to survive. She affirmed her love to Peeta so they could stay alive, and her bond with Gale is more of a strong friendship than anything else. The main focus is not on her love life, it’s on her. Which is how you get a love story right in a franchise like this. In fact, it’s the relationships she has with her friends that are more poignant.

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4. Violence is treated like violence (film)

With the certificate being a 12a, the way they have presented the violence and threat in the film had to be appropriate for the audience. In saying that, some of the scenes are particularly graphic. Including the scene in ‘Catching Fire’ where Katniss and her buddies are hit by a toxic gas cloud that essentially burns their skin like acid. It’s pretty dark. And they don’t just get up and walk it off; they are injured for the rest of the film.

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5. Katniss isn’t the perfect hero

From the first film, Katniss has been through so much. From the death of Rue to the brutalization of her friend Cinna as she’s about to go into the arena in ‘Catching Fire’. And we see it. We see her deterioration in the films and get a better sense for it in the books because of its first person narrative. Even in the end, she is still haunted by what she had done, from her first kill to what happened to Prim. She becomes more clinical, and more mentally challenged, as well as physically. But she still manages to win. She perseveres. That’s what makes her a good character.

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We all await the finale with baited breath. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.