THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY: PART 1 – Review

Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen for the third installment of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay. Katniss wakes up to find the world is in chaos once more, as a rebellion rises from the ashes of the explosion her arrow caused in the quarter quell.

The rebels abandoned Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) in the games and Katniss has a hard time trusting them. Next thing you know, he appears on Capitals propaganda broadcasts urging the rebels to throw down their weapons.
Rebel Leader, president Coin (Julianne Moore) convinces Katniss to join the fight, and be the symbol of the Mockingjay, but only under certain conditions: Peeta and the other tributes are given a pardon for joining the Empire and Katniss’ sister Primrose (Willow Shields) gets to keep her cat!

The former of these ruffled the feathers of the rebels who were slower to forgive but a series of propaganda shoots from the Rebels soon convince them shes their Mockingjay.

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The film, overall is solid, but there were a few issues I had with it.

Firstly, there was no direction or goal of the film until the last 20 minutes, when they decide to storm the empires HQ and rescue the tributes. The plot just went from propaganda shoot of fallout, to crying about Peeta, to fight scene and repeat. There was definitely a formula, but the film could’ve been run on a shorter circuit. But alas, Hollywood greed trumps all.

The only indication of the intention of the film was the occasional breaking down of Katniss whenever Peeta showed up on the rebels’ big screen, increasingly bruised. It felt a bit irritating when you looked up and thought “didn’t i see this already?” but the storyline grew into something in the end, which could be seen as a directoral technique, designed to represent the journey from chaos into focus. I don’t have director Francis Lawrence‘s word on this, mind you.

Speaking of direction, the shots taken in this were the usual mix of shaky camera and long take scenes, which were effective again, but with nothing groundbreaking. He didn’t add anything incredibly imaginative.

The film is the last of Phillip Seymour Hoffman‘s efforts, and is poignantly dedicated to him. He again has a convincing performance and it’s one for him to be proud of. He left us wanting more.

The film overall did the job for me but thats around it. It’s not a bad movie and there are a lot of things going for it but I expect we have a better one coming up. The only thing that held this one back was money.
I’m giving it a 7 out of 10.

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