Monday, December 1, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Did I like the film? Yes.

Did it need to be in two parts? Absolutely not.

Let’s go back to discuss some overall Hunger Games trilogy things before we get into my review.

Katniss is an incredible female heroine, but not just because of her own kick-ass-ness, but it’s also the fact that she learns that she is better with people around her.

Some examples:

  • Cinna is betting on the girl on fire, and helps to craft her persona as the Mockingjay. 
  • Effie and Haymitch take on the role of surrogate parents that provide her with a lot of support, and both Haymitch and Effie’s characters really demonstrate all that is wrong with the society and so much is reflective through them about Panem.
  • And while they embody all that is wrong with the Panem society, Peeta surely embodies all that is possible and right within the society, and gives Katniss hope. 
  • Her survival throughout the entire second movie/book is (although unknowingly) due to the support of the Victors. 

We all agree on that right? Okay, so now to the movie...

Mockingjay part 1, is well-made but it lacks all the heart of the previous films.  It strongly focuses on the rise of a rebellion, propaganda, riots within the districts, and President Snow sums up the film nicely, “moves and counter moves”. This part of the story is very important and well done, it’s just that there was way too much of it, and the people were secondary, if that at all.

There is also a lot of talking through the use of TV and screens, watching others watch screens: it was actually kind of boring because it’s a lame (and lazy) storytelling device.

There are a few compelling scenes in the film, and Katniss as the reluctant face of the rebellion is totally convincing.  However all of this is at the expense of a character driven story.  Finnick, Effie and Haymitch were all used as very obvious plot devices. Joanna and Annie, were just footnotes to the story.  I guess the movie didn’t strike a good balance between caring about characters and driving the political agenda.

Katniss is a total badass and yes I will see the next film but overall Mockingjay Part 1 is a bit of a snooze: as one person put it after we left the cinema, ‘nothing really happened’.


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