Cinema Corner: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Despite the long title, the latest entry into the Hunger Games franchise did not fail to entertain and inform the audience. The movie was darker than its predecessors and it delved deeper into that effect that a single person can have on a group of people. The movie follows Katniss Everdeen as she recovers in the underground District 13 and her ongoing battle to bring down President Snow and the Capitol. I would be giving my review of the movie and laying out my pros and cons as well. Be wary of minor spoilers as I would try not to reveal as much details as possible. Let’s get it on.

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May the odds be in her favour

Like previously mentioned the movie opens with a recovering Katniss has she is still visibly shaken by the events of the previous movie. Her actions at the Quarter Quell were a powder keg that sparked a fire of rebellion in other people across the districts. Katniss is then approached by Plutchard Heavensbee(with the amazing late Philip Seymour Hoffman reprising his role) and the new addition to the cast, President Alma Coin played Gunther gorgeous Julianne Moore. They notice the beacon of hope that she has become to the people due to her various selfless acts and intend to use her as a spark to led the revolution by making her the titular Mockingjay. The movie really shows the amount of facade that both sides of a war a willing to play in order to prove their points. Katniss was been used by the District 13 folks while Peeta was been used as the weapon by President Snow to placate Katniss from leading the rebellion. Most of the supporting characters return as Effie Trinket(Elizabeth Banks) and Haymitch Abeynatch(Woody Harrelson) reprise their roles in gearing Katniss up for the responsibility as the icon of the people. The movie felt more like a war movie than a young adult movie which was really impressive as this allowed the themes to be taken more seriously and not all young adult movies are romantic fests.

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"Pfff I wanted a red rose to go with my mockingjay outfit"

The propaganda videos made by the guys at District 13 with Katniss leading the rebellion were also a nice reference to how actual wars in our times now are fought. Through the use of videos and pictures, most countries win wars psychologically before the physical altercation even begin. Never underestimate the power of the masses as a political weapon in winning a war, as it was shown in various districts that started rebelling against the guards and destroying important sources of power to the Capitol. Another really powerful moment in the movie was the scene that showed Katniss visiting the now demolished District 12, which was intended to ignite her rage towards the Capitol as she was feeling reluctant to lead the rebellion. The scenes were particularly well shot as you could see the destruction and desolation of the district. The tension rose more towards the end of the movie with a particularly interesting scene after a huge rescue that really came as a surprise. Overall this was a strong improvement over Catching Fire, which was a movie I quite enjoyed as well. Although as a two part finale, I couldn’t help but notice how much of a filler this movie was as it is setting itself up for the second part.

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"My beanie makes me look artistic"

PROS
-Mature tone: The movie did it’s best to highlight pivotal points in a more mature way
-War empathy: Through the propaganda videos, we were shown how a rebellion can be perpetuated just like in our real world.
-Solid performances: Strong acting from lead characters like Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman and the other returning cast.
-Engaging plot: We were never really aware of what was coming as the movie hooked the audience on a thrilling ride.

CONS
-Excessive focus on Katniss: Even though she was the lead actress, the entire movie didn’t really show enough of the other characters or districts.
-Filler scenes: This is a minor con, but as a first part, some scenes were noticeably dragged on in order to extend the movie.
-Cat scene: A particularly annoying scene involving Katniss and her sister.

Altogether this was an interesting movie and a good first part to the upcoming sequel next year. The war themes were well done and were reflective of our current society. I would give this movie a 7.5 out of 10. A stellar cast and engaging story only hampered by a couple of filler scenes. I look forward to the last part next year and hope it can bring the series to a well concluded end. Let me know what you think of the movie if you have seen it. Feel free to comment below. Which other young adult novel would like to see adapted for the big screen? Till next time. Szia.

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