However, the film's pacing is noticeably languid and more cynical viewers will feel like padding is being added to justify its extended theatrical run. Fans of the franchise will inevitably appreciate the opportunity to spend more time with these characters, yet those more enamoured with themes than its young adult melodrama will swiftly become irritated by maudlin self-pitying and patronising symbolism - perhaps worse observed in a scene where Gale and Katniss go hunting and find themselves in awe at the sight of a majestic stag that doesn't run for cover. "He's not afraid of us?" pronounces an awestruck Katniss, "That's because he's never been hunted," Gale replies, before a long silence to allow the audience to absorb the metaphor. Whilst the franchise initially pertained to criticise systemic power, media influence and the heteronormal nature of young adult fiction, Mockingjay ultimately promotes the idea that our current 'freedom' is something to be desired and fought for rather than questioned. This is all whilst simultaneously promoting a world where our cultural output is dictated by its financial potential - an ironic twist in a franchise that relies so heavily on its counter-cultural identity.
Patrick Gamble | @PatrickJGamble