Four years since the first part of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novels was adapted into film, the four-part story finally comes to an end. Panem, the Capitol of a ruined North America, is still being ruled by the evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who keeps 12 oppressed districts in check by hosting an annual Hunger Games. Each district sends up two “tributes" who must fight till the death, killing every other contestant before one is declared a victor. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return as heroes after winning the 74th Hunger Games in the first film.

Director Francis Lawrence took the directing baton from Gary Ross after the first film in the series, and built on the winning start with an equally engaging The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), in which Katniss senses that a rebellion is brewing against the fascist regime. She and her emblem, the Mockingjay, become unifying symbols of the rebellion. But as Katniss soon discovers, she is just a puppet in the hands of ambitious rebel leader Alma Coin (Julianne Moore). The final book of the trilogy, Mockingjay, was split into two films. This may have been an error, since neither the penultimate episode, nor this final part, are satisfying, unlike the depiction of the brutal games and the political subtext of the earlier parts, which were both riveting and incisive.

The Capitol is ready for the rebel attack and Katniss, Gale, Finnick and an elite team sets off to infiltrate Snow’s mansion. But Coin has a different plan—she wants their movements to be managed, recorded and used as propaganda videos. Katniss finally realizes she is a pawn in a game where there are possibly no winners, and takes charge one last time.

All the loose ends are indeed tied up—Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Effie (Elizabeth Banks), Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Peeta, and many of the other victors’ fates are shown.

At the end of Mockingjay—Part 1, one hoped for a fiery ending to this series. Instead, one is served a tepid finale. Lawrence looks tired of being a symbol, someone who must follow instructions and parrot lines prepared for her. Mockingjay—Part 2 is a touch too sentimental and does not turn up the heat enough. However, the political undertow comes to the surface, and Lawrence neatly presents how politics and showbiz are uneasy bedfellows.

Mockingjay Part 2 released in theatres on Friday

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