Mockingjay – Part One Review

Mockingjay+-+Part+One+premiered+Thursday%2C+Nov.+20%2C+in+select+theaters+nationwide.+

Murray Close

Mockingjay – Part One premiered Thursday, Nov. 20, in select theaters nationwide.

Madison Alvarado, Staff Writer

Despite the fact that many questioned whether there would be enough plot material in Mockingjay to make a movie, Lionsgate managed to split the book into two separate films, the first of which premiered yesterday. Jennifer Lawrence returns in this much anticipated film as Katniss Everdeen, the “girl on fire” turned revolution leader. Aided by co-stars Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, the movie struggled to meet high standards set in place by the clamoring Hunger Games fan base. With a somewhat subdued climax and plot that couldn’t decide between war and heist, this film, although enjoyable, would have been better if it wasn’t split into two parts.

Devastated by rebellion and war in a post apocalyptic North America, the Capitol and 13 districts struggle for power after Katniss sparked revolution during the Quarter Quell in Catching Fire. She returns in Mockingjay – Part 1 as a Joan of Arc-esque leader who struggles with politics, death, and love. The movie brought back some of our Hunger Games favorites, such as Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason. Although Finnick and Johanna didn’t play as big of roles as they could–and should–have, many new characters were introduced and relationships between older characters developed. The most noteworthy addition to the cast was Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin.

The movie had bursts of humor to lighten up the darkness of the bombings, destruction, and death that occurred throughout it. A now sober Haymitch continues to make snarky jokes towards Katniss, while Effie upholds her haughty Capitol attitude and glimpses of derpy Jennifer Lawrence slip through disguised as remarks made by Katniss. The film also has some amazing camera shots and angles that make it much more interesting to watch.

Like all Hollywood movies, Mockingjay – Part 1 strayed from the book in dramatizing certain scenes and omitting others, not to mention that the endless tears gushing down Katniss’ face in what felt like every scene created distractions from the actual storyline. When she wasn’t crying, Katniss spent most of the film hurling angry comments at a camera or frantically worrying about other characters. In Mockingjay, Katniss has ditched her classic braid for a more mature look that makes viewers forget the fact that she is only around the age of 18. And as if we needed more evidence that Jennifer Lawrence is perfect, this movie proves that she is and always will be the only person alive who can rock a middle part.

Overall, Mockingjay – Part 1 wasn’t too shabby, but didn’t quite live up to the high standards set by the eager audience that awaited it. I would easily pay 10 bucks to see it a second time, but it simply isn’t as good as the first or second installments of the series. If you decide to see Mockingjay – Part 1, whether you like it or not one thing is for sure: you will leave the theater singing “The Hanging Man”, a catchy melody sung by Katniss partway through the film.