Jennifer Lawrence may be making headlines for her latest movie Red Sparrow, but it was the Hunger Games movies that really saw her career catch fire.
When the Hunger Games films launched six years ago, they smashed box office records and are still in the top 20 highest grossing film franchises of all time. Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of the fearless heroine Katniss Everdeen catapulted Lawrence into the Hollywood big leagues and she became a role model to girls (and grown-ups) around the world.
In an interview with US Magazine, Lawrence talked about what it was like to play such an inspirational character: “I feel the impact of being part of such a huge movie that has meant so much for many people. This character is overwhelmingly supportive of women, obviously … it’s kind of like [playing my] avatar self.”
Now it’s time to head back to Panem and relive some of the most heart-wrenching moments.
*Warning - spoiler alerts up ahead* Haven’t seen the movies yet? Well, the odds are finally in your favour. Skip the spoilers and watch all four of the Hunger Games movies, now available to stream or download on Showmax.
There were so many moments in the film series that gave us goosebumps and made us raise our hands in a three-finger salute for justice. Here are the 5 iconic moments from the 4-movie series that we are still thinking about:
1. “I volunteer.”
A future dystopian state keeps people under control with a sport called The Hunger Games. But it never imagined the power of one girl who wants to protect her sister. When Katniss’ younger sister Prim is picked for the games, Katniss volunteers to enter the games in her place. The tears, the anger, the pain – this scene gets us hooked and begins to show us the hero Katniss will become. Chills!
Movie: The Hunger Games
2. The death that started a revolution
As a Hunger Games tribute, Katniss should be trying to kill all the other tributes, but instead, she befriends the tiny 12-year-old Rue, who clearly doesn’t stand a chance. After her death, Katniss honours Rue's body by covering her with flowers in an act of defiance against The Capitol, The Hunger Games, and everything they represent. This act spurs Rue’s district into action and the uprising begins. The song on the soundtrack by James Newton Howard entitled Rue’s Farewell adds to the chilling ambiance of the scene.
Movie: The Hunger Games
3. The public whipping
This scene, which depicts the government’s power over all the citizens of Panem, sees Katniss begging the Peacekeepers to stop punishing her childhood best friend Gale. It’s powerful and painful, and exposes Katniss’s complicated love-triangle - she is supposed to act as if she’s in love with Peeta, and instead, she’s defending Gale, a “nobody” in the Capitol’s eyes.
Movie: Catching Fire
4. The Hanging Tree song
Katniss sings—and starts a revolution. Returning to a destroyed District 12, Katniss sings a haunting rendition of The Hanging Tree, which is broadcast to all the districts and becomes a battle cry as rebels launch their attack. Again, chills. And tears.
Movie: Mockingjay Part 1
5. The biggest loss
We lose a lot of our favourite characters in this series of films, and if you read the books, you would have known it was coming, but still it put an arrow through our heart. The sudden death of Katniss’ sister Prim is the last straw for Katniss. And for us. OMG – Pass the tissues!
Movie: Mockingjay Part 2
Hear the call of the mockingjay and catch all four movies in The Hunger Games series now available on Showmax for the month of March only. Sign up for Showmax today and you get a 14-day FREE trial. If you’re a DStv Premium subscriber, get Showmax at no extra cost. Find out how here. If you're a DStv Compact subscriber, get Showmax for R49. Find out more here.