Movie Review – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

By: Gigi LeFebvre

MV5BMTcxNDI2NDAzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODM3MTc2MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Like most movies based off of Young Adult series (or YA for short), the last movie/book is split into two parts. The last Hunger Games book, Mockingjay, was published in 2010 where in shortly the first movie was produced and was a huge hit. For many fans, the last book was disappointing and was hoping that the movie would change a few things that would help improve it, which it did.

The movie starts at least a month after the ending of Catching Fire where Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is now in District 13, the district many thought was destroyed by the Capitol many years ago. The Rebellion against the Capitol has taken base underground in District 13 and are planning on using Katniss as the image for the cause. Katniss not only has to deal with inner demons as she continues to suffer from PTSD but with the treats from the Capitol and from the leader of the Rebellion itself.

Unlike the first two movies, there isn’t much action in this first part. Much of it takes place in District 13 where the Rebellion is planning propaganda (or “Propos”)and getting all of the districts of Panem on their side. The few times Katniss is seen outside is when she’s being filmed for Propos, in which Lawrence shows off her best.

Acting wise, the cast is still very strong. Jennifer Lawrence is powerful as ever and continues to portray a teenager with PTSD appropriately and near flawlessly. Julianne Moore (who plays President Coin, the leader of District 13 and the Rebellion) is able to show that she’s as much of a dictator as President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Best of all, Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) has greatly improved as an actor in these past movies. Having to play a person suffering from more than one kind of pain and doing it well not easy, but Hutcherson does it.

As a fan of these books and the movies, I have to be honest in saying that Mockingjay is the weakest of the books. They’re all written in Katniss’ perspective, which lets you know that she makes it through the end and that much of the interpretations of the situations are biased. However, the movie was very good.

The real question is: Was it necessary to split it into two parts?
In some ways, yes. Since they added and changed a lot in the movie, like showing what was happening in the Capitol and in the Districts rebelling, having the first part as a calm-before-the-storm was what was going to set up the main action of the ending. Obviously Lionsgate split it up solely for money reasons, but for the plot it makes the most sense. Reading the book should not be done in one day, it’s far too slow for that. Having the first part show the plans and the consequences of said plans leads up to an explosive ending (badaboom stss).

Four Stars (There would’ve been more if my favorite line hadn’t been cut out)