The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

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Picture Courtesy of Lionsgate

Ah, the beginning of the end. Bitter sweet in many ways. I was very excited to see Mockingjay Part 1, but there was a realization during the film, which I will touch on later.

To bring you up to speed, the last film (Catching Fire) was the 75th Hunger Games called the Quarter Quell. Conveniently predestined to include the winners of previous games. This was the end, Peta or Katniss were going to die, after their unheard of duel win in the first film which made a mockery of the Hunger Games and of President Snow. While the 75th games are in progress it becomes apparent there is a plan in action. Katniss insists that Peta be saved, and naturally Peta insists the same of Katniss. In the end, Katniss delivers a blow to the force field surrounding the game allowing the rebels to rescue her and a few other tributes. Unfortunately, Peta and a few other tributes were captured by the capital.

Mockingjay Part 1 follows Katniss’ recovery from the 75th games and her transformation into the propaganda role of The Mockingjay. From the beginning I had always had my doubts and many questions as to how they would transform the final book into a film. There is still a Part 2 which could change things, but Part 1 was able to stick to the simple actions and scenes not to confuse the audience.

The film introduced some interesting new actors and actresses to the series as extras and I look forward to the end result. Julianne Moore joins the cast as the leader of District 13. Although I don’t mind her as an actress she was neither amazing nor horrible. She did her role as asked and didn’t stand out for me. Philip Seymour Hoffman was able to complete Part 1 and even so far as 1 week left In filming for Part 2. How they will navigate around this is still entirely speculation.

Now without further ado and without spoiling the film for others I go back to my first reference of the film being Bitter Sweet. You cannot expect Part 1 of 2 to be amazing, because you do not want it to outshine part 2. In some ways you downplay the first part in order to guarantee the success of part 2. Much of the excitement of Mockingjay Part 1 was reliving the memory of the Hunger Games and Catching Fire; because despite the explosions and war going on, the excitement level is at a minimum. This does not change until the end of the film when things really start to get interesting and moving along, but then end.

Understandably there is a war going on and the characters are hiding out in an underground facility, but it was thrilling when Katniss receives Cinna’s outfit he designed for her. Thrilling because she is able to get out of her frumpy jumpsuit and fix her drab wavy hair. Even Effie is able to glam up her prison wear. It couldn’t have been too much to ask, could it?

Mockingjay Part 1 is a required stepping stone in the series. I did not dislike the film, but it is definitely my least favorite of the films thus far. I have faith that the finale will deliver with action, thrills, heart and perhaps even tears. The countdown is on to November 20, 2015. Sigh…

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