Movie Review: The Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)

Mockingjay Poster

Katniss: “I have a message for President Snow: You can torture or bombed us, blasted our district to the grounds. But do you see that ? Fire Is Catching… If we burn, you burn with us!”

Plot synopsis: With the Games now destroyed and in pieces, Katniss Everdeen, along with Gale, Finnick and Beetee, now end up in the so thought “destroyed” District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her friends, Katniss becomes the “Mockingjay” and the symbol of rebellion for the people (IMDb)

mockingjay-banner

Rating: 8/10

Although not as entertaining or jaw dropping as Catching Fire, I really did enjoy Mockinjay Part 1. It didn’t contain so many filler scenes as I thought it would. I consider the “filler” scenes really as part of the story here – remember, The Hunger Games is written in first person so it is only natural that there would be parts where the other characters showed what they were up to, because it wouldn’t have been in the book. The movie ended where I thought it would – the only place that makes sense when you read the book and realise what happens. It is also a wonderful, true adaption – I really didn’t catch much changed, and if it was, it wasn’t significant. A major plus is that the movie didn’t feel stretched out or too much, and I was worried about that. There wasn’t too much real action, but the first part of the book is mostly sadness and not guns blazing. The uprisings in the Districts particularly touched me, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of that. The bombing at the trees and the hydro electrical plant gave me such chills. It will always move me when people rise against injustice. I liked that they included the Hanging Tree song; it was beautiful, chilling and authentic.

 katniss and gale

Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) has so much screen time and I was EEK about it. He is responsible for saving so many lives after the bombing of District 12, but he is still carrying scars from what he saw, a weight on his shoulders to be a proper soldier to the District that saved him and pain because he knows that Katniss will never return his feelings. Liam isn’t as charming as his dear brother Chris (you may have heard of him), but I do like him as an actor and as Gale. He does slightly resemble Katniss, something that was essential in the books to pass them off as cousins for his safety, and he is very much as I would have imagined him if I ever read HG before the movies. Just as a note, I would have chosen Gale over Peeta any time of day and think Katniss is rotten for playing with Gale’s feelings just because she is unsure about her own. Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence have enough chemistry to make this relationship very intriguing.

peeta

Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is in the hands of the Capitol and being tortured for his possible role in what happened in the Arena. He keeps sending out anti uprising propaganda, and is not the most beloved person in District 13. However, Katniss knows it is not who he really is, and notices his deterioration.

Like I just said, I wouldn’t personally choose Peeta over Gale, but I love the character. He is so sweet and loyal, and just wants to love Katniss and have her safe. Josh Hutcherson does well because he has a kindly face that seems to smile even when he isn’t, and he impressed me again in here with his portrayal. It is eery how physically worsens, and how bad he eventually looks.

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Sam Claflin impressed me as Finnick Odair. He isn’t the biggest part of the series, and I loved how his role stayed relative to that in the book – there, but not overwhelming. Claflin does the portrayal great, because I really felt his intense pain at knowing Annie was at the mercy of the Capitol. I understand everyone was upset with the cutting of Sam’s underwear scene, because it would have been fun and would have lightened up the movie a bit, but I think most of Finnick’s scenes were well executed.

snow

Donald Sutherland as President Snow was AMAZING. He is incredibly well cast and he is chilling and really charismatic at the same time. Snow loves playing games with Katniss – it seems as time as the uprisings in the Districts are insignificant to him compared to the continuing fight he has with Katniss.

katniss

Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, didn’t plague me as much as in the books. Lawrence makes her real, shows that the thorny exterior hides a terrified interior. The books sometimes only reflect her selfish behaviour and demands, but Katniss in the movie makes you understand that she is a product of her surroundings – maybe her indecisiveness to choose between Peeta and Gale isn’t greed but a desperate attempt to have more things to love and to be loved by. Not right at all – but sympathy can be had.

mockingjay-part-1-trailer-still-5-cressida
Margaery Tyrell certainly looks different!

Lastly, I thought that Boggs, Cressida and the entire crew was well done, Elizabeth Banks shined once again as Effie Trinket, and Julianne Moore as Alma Coin was also a good choice. Woody Harrelson continues his role as Haymitch Abernathy, who is sober under the stringent rules of District 13, and that doesn’t make him nice at all. I like that he is always the one who tells Katniss where to get off, because she really deserves it.

haymitch

Recommendation: Hell’s yeah!

Word of advice to those who haven’t read the books yet for Mockingjay Part Two: Suzanne Collins didn’t pull a Veronica Roth, but she got REALLY trigger happy at the end of the series. #cries

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6 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)

  1. Super Successful and Free Chemistry Kidney,

    Love this post! Great work, as always.

    Wow, you enjoyed this infinitely more than I did. You know that I personally felt a lot was squandered. Oh well. I am hoping they do all the right things with Mockingjay Part II, and I think it is going to be great.

    Best Bkushi

  2. Pingback: 2014 Movies: Part Three | Life of this city girl

  3. Pingback: Movies 2014: Top Ten | Life of this city girl

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