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Mockingjay – Part 2 Proved Katniss Is The Hero Hunger Games Fandom Deserves

After two weeks of voting—lots and lots and lots of voting—MTV News readers have officially crowned their Best Movie of 2015: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, by a landslide. The runners-up were Jurassic World and Inside Out, but honestly, it wasn’t even close. Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) army just fought too hard, because they cared so much.

Now, this victor should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the impact of The Hunger Games on pop culture at large over the past five years. It’s not just that Katniss and her post-apocalyptic world have inspired so many others like it (think Divergent, The Maze Runner, and the upcoming Chloe Moretz-starrer The 5th Wave)—though of course, that is important—or that the big-screen version of Suzanne Collins’ book series is jam-packed with gorgeous stars. Heck, it’s not even that Katniss is a much-needed complex (in other words, actually interesting) female hero, though we’re 100 per cent all about that.

Because really, when it comes down to it, The Hunger Games works because it moves people, and it’s honest to its fans. It’s a story about a single girl who reluctantly—very reluctantly—finds herself in the middle of an impossible situation, and does her best to rise to the occasion while still refreshingly questioning the world around her. (And how can she not, when so much of Mockingjay – Part 1 is all about how she’s nothing but a tool in the war propaganda department’s well-oiled machine?)

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Fans are smart enough to know when they’re being fed sub-par or fluffy material, and from the get-go, Mockingjay – Part 2 made it clear it wasn’t going to sugarcoat a war so that audiences could feel comfortable with a traditionally happy ending. Sure, some of the darkest scenes of Collins’ Mockingjay were cut—like the time she shot that Capitol woman point-blank through the heart—but overall, the film (and Lawrence’s performance) bravely kept the brutal-yet-hopeful tone that was so essential to the books.

And of course, the fans noticed. When MTV News asked Hunger Games fans why they loved Katniss ahead of the film’s release, they said things like, “she doesn’t know she can do so much,” and “if Katniss could get through everything that she went through, then I can get through this,” and “she is aware of her faults.”

In other words, yeah, the fans got it: throughout life, people are dragged into situations that they absolutely do not want to be dealing with, and it takes a whole lot of strength and purpose and 24/7 soul-searching to make it out in one piece. Katniss’ situation was an extreme one, of course, but everyone’s problems feel Katniss-level huge inside their own hearts.

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