Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

November 19, 2014 Movie Reviews 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

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Rated:

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material

Directed By:

Francis Lawrence

Based on the Book By: 

Suzanne Collins

Cast:

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Sam Claflin, Julianne Moore and more.

Find the rest on IMDB here.

IMDB Movie Synopsis:

When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to District 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of rebellion, while trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.

My Review:

Here’s the thing about Mockingjay. Its my least favorite book in the entire trilogy. I read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire about a month before Mockingjay came out. I remember reading the first two and just being absolutely blown away by it and then just feeling disappointed by Mockingjay. So much potential there but it just felt kind of sloppy, rushed, weird.

BUT, that being said…I was really looking forward to this movie. I liked the first movie well enough but the second movie just completely blew my mind and so I was really looking forward to this one. I went to the premiere and was on a complete high from the red carpet and went into the theater really excited for this movie.

One thing that really impressed me is that Francis Lawrence continues the trueness to the book that he showed us in Catching Fire. I knew what was happening next at every turn because it just felt so true to the book. Scenes that I wanted to happen, lines I wanted to hear, that sort of thing, were all there. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that actual lines from the book were said. That always means a lot to me because the worlds that we show in these movies were created by the words of the author and to use those words in the movie, it means a lot. Those words are important to the reader. We quote those books. So hearing them said by these actors that do SUCH a great job is just fantastic.

I loved that a lot of my favorite scenes were in the movie. I don’t want to say which ones because this is spoiler free but I really loved that the scenes that stood out to me in the books are the ones that ended up on screen.

Julianne Moore as Coin? Loved it. She had a nice balance of kind of weird and untrusting and at the same time, a passion for the rebellion and a control over the people she governs. She really brought that character to life. Natalie Dormer as Cressida? UGH. Love. She’s amazing. I cant wait to see more of her in Part 2.

Sad face every time that Philip Seymour Hoffman came on screen. KILLED me. There is so much of him in this movie, and I just loved it.

Jennifer Lawrence. Liam. Josh. Elizabeth. Donald. Sam. All of them are just so great.

I love where they cut it. Its great. Its kind of what the fandom expected but just a bit more and that’s what I loved. Because they probably assumed the fandom would know where they would logically cut it, it was really cool to see them twist it a bit. Still completely true to the book but just a fantastic end to the movie until we get Part 2. Can we get Part 2 now?

They added SO much action to it. Action that already existed but it really stood out on screen. It felt so real and frightening. The movie was pretty long but it didn’t feel that way because the action of it kept you wrapped up in it the whole time. It was so great to see Katniss really fight, and to see others fighting beside her, especially Gale. We don’t see much of Gale in the first two movies because she ends up in the Games both times so it was great to see more of him. I LOVE Gale as a character, and his passion for the rebellion, no matter the cost, so I loved seeing him fight and stand up for his rights and his thoughts.

There were two added scenes and I loved both of them. I can’t say much more than that. One was completely made up but stayed true to the events taking the place in the novel. Let’s just say my friend, who is a District 7 girl, was like “Yes! District 7! That’s my district!” in the theater last night. It was a really epic addition. The other addition was something that most definitely takes place in the novel but is kind of off screen because Katniss is not involved so therefore we have no perspective on it. I loved that they added it, it was just SO great, and intense and caused me lots of anxiety, even though I’ve read the book a bunch of times and know how it ends.

All in all, I’m massively impressed with this adaptation. Francis really knows what he’s doing. They capture the soul and essence of this book, stay true to the story and the characters but really bring it to life on screen. They take something that is so small in the books and blow it up into a huge, significant and beautiful scene on screen and I was really impressed by that. The performances by all the actors were incredible and I seriously can’t wait to see the second part. I think the movie gave the opportunity to straighten out those things that were messy in the book and I’m eagerly looking forward to the epic finale next fall!

OH! One last thing: my favorite part of the entire film was Jennifer Lawrence singing “The Hanging Tree”. It was SO flippin epic. It gave me total chills, all up and down my body. I need that song in my life. I was really just blown away with how they did that scene. Ugh. Perfection!

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

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