Review

Movie Review: Mockingjay – Part 1

Rating: PG Director: Francis Lawrence  Genre: Action, Dystopian
Rating: PG
Director: Francis Lawrence
Genre: Action, Dystopian

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.

4/5

Just watched this last night and it was awesome! I don’t really remember the book all that well, but it’s irrelevant to me whether the movie is identical to the book or not. What interests me is the the main message is the same in both the book and movie and that the mood of the book is replicated. Mockingjay actually expands on the book and makes the message much more tangible and relateable.

The first half of Mockingjay is about the beginning of the rebellion and the transformation of Katniss into the face of the revolt. Through the movie you truly understand the desperation of the people and the depth of the sacrifices they are willing to make to ensure the freedom of others. You see the cruelty of Snow and self chosen ignorance of most of the people in the capital. You see how easily the rebellion can be crushed and the necessity of overthrowing the capital. You see Katniss’s unwillingness to be part of the rebellion, how she only wants to save those she loves. Finally, you see how much the people need Katniss to be the face of the rebellion and how she’s the only one who can be the Mockingjay. The movie truly gives a sense of what it is like to be in the midst of a rebellion.

The pacing of the movie was excellent and the two hour movie flew by. There are gritty action sequences and extremely moving scenes (Katniss’s hospital speech anyone?). The central cast is relatively small so the movie really focuses on the relationships between everyone. Effie continues to take on a more significant role than in the books and I love everything her characters adds. I also appreciated the focus on the filming of the propos as it really highlighted the idea of the truth being the strongest weapon.

Jennifer Lawernce’s performance was, once again, nothing short of amazing. She hit all the right emotions and portrays the traumatized-yet-still-strong Katniss really well. She proves that strength isn’t measured in how well you can fight, but in how well you can keep yourself from falling apart, and if you do the right thing no matter the cost.  The love triangle angle wasn’t as in your face as in Catching Fire; it is made quite clear that it is Peeta who she cares for and that Gale is just a good friend, though he clearly loves her.

I know that the movie was split into two for the sole purpose of increasing revenue, but it somehow worked. Though the first part is obviously a lot of set-up for the second, it was a good movie on its own. It is in some ways a lot darker than the previous two – not content wise, hence the lower rating – but thematically. In the first two, it’s horrible to be in the games, but in some ways, real life is worse. Mockingjay really focuses on the bigger picture – the deaths caused by the capital and the desperation of the rebellion as well as Katniss’s fragile emotional state.

Highly recommended – watch it ASAP!

Have you watched this movie? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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3 thoughts on “Movie Review: Mockingjay – Part 1

  1. I just saw it and loved it! One thing that really strikes me is how much better I like Katniss in the movies – she just didn’t connect well for me in the books, but Jennifer Lawrence really brings her alive on screen.

    (I see you’re currently reading Amulet of Samarkand, which is one of my all time favorite books!)

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