Film Review: Mockingjay Part One

Like the last two films, they have perfectly adapted the first half of the third book in Suzanne Collins trilogy to make a thoroughly thrilling and well made film.

Since the events of Catching Fire, Katniss is now in district 13, the until now unknown underground district that is now leading the would be rebellion against the capitol.

And the president of 13, Alma Coin (portrayed by Julianne Moore) wants Katniss to accept the figurehead position of the Mockingjay, something that she is joined in by Plutarch Heavensbee, (portrayed by the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman) ex gamemaker from the capitol, but Katniss is forever changed, and not for the better.

She and Finnick (Sam Claflin) may have been "saved" from the last games, but Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) wasn't and he, Johanna (Jena Malone), andAnnie (Stef Dawson) are stuck in the Capitol, under Snow's (Donald Sutherland) unforgiving thumb.

It takes a lot to get her to perform, thankfully, she still has Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), her family, her sister Prim (Willow Shields) has grown up a lot since the first film, and now a camera crew.
The latter led by Cressida, portrayed by Natalie Dormer.

Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) was also rescued and provides technical skills and designs new weapons for the fight.
Effie Trinket returns (Elizabeth Banks) joins the fun, looking a little subdued without her mad wardrobe, but she still has her attitude. and then some select citizens of District 13, like Boggs (portrayed by Mahershala Ali).

And of course - Stanley Tucci makes a comeback as Caesar Flickerman.

This is a dark story, we knew that with a cruel and unforgiving system, at some point it would be overturned. But you can't have a rebellion without a lot of battles and instances of more shattering cruelties and under less guiding hands, less skilful direction and script writing, this movie might have floundered under too much of the former, without some moments of levity and instances of fighting back to show that the story will get better, more hopeful.

Even though I've read the book and knew where it was heading (mostly), I still got nervous at certain parts, I won't say what they were (I won't spoil it that much) but suffice it say I was on the edge of my seat for most of the two hour run time and that says a lot.

Readers of the book will not be disappointed. People who like a serious dramatic thrilling film, won't be either.

Comments

  1. This quote comes from another film where the characters are fighting ugly battles with cruel people, where there are moments of levity, like the one below.

    “Sammy: Can we play Big and Small?
    Grace: Is that a real game, or is that a game you just made up?
    Sammy: It's a real game that I just made up.”

    ReplyDelete

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