Mockingjay Part 1 – Movie review

We went to see the Mockingjay Part 1 on 22 November. It has been almost a week since then and I had some time to digest my impressions. I really liked the first two movies, and the first movie inspired me to read the book series. Mockingjay was darker in the global sense and had more political issues rather than personal drama. I read the books a couple years ago and don’t remember too much details, so I will not scrutinise the movie in comparison with the book. I did find some obvious differences, but they didn’t contradict with the plot too much, so I will leave them alone.

One thing I would like to say first – this movie would not work as a standalone. If you haven’t read the books or seen the previous two parts, you might get completely lost. The story is co-dependant with events in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Also, most of the characters are well known and don’t have significant clues about their identities or past. The only new character of importance is President Coin played by Julianne Moore.

Mockingjay is very political and shows the rebellion from the honest perspective – people die, places get bombed, propaganda from both sides is very strong, and no one is safe any more. There is tension between Katniss and President Coin, but mutual goal makes them work together as allies. The true geniuses behind the revolution are Plutarch, Haymitch and Beetee, who plan the propaganda and add fuel to the fire. Katniss is used as a propaganda tool, but she doesn’t mind as long as her goal of getting Peeta and other victors back is fulfilled. Finnick is too depressed to be of any true use and Gale has become a boring tool of the warfare.  I really enjoyed Effie as she remains herself even in a warehouse-like facilities, where everyone wears same clothes. To be honest, I can’t say that the characters got any significant development, except the aftershock from their traumatic experiences, which would be worth mentioning. Games changed the victors and the revolution will change everyone. Nothing will be the same any more.

District 13 really reminded me of life in  1984 by George Orwell – but that should be expected of most dystopia books that came after. This part was more emotional on a global scale and had some good scenes like:

  • Katniss finding out what President Snow has done to District 12
  • Katniss finding the fresh rose in her home
  • Cat related scenes
  • Bombings of the hospital and District 13

I particularly liked how Katniss sang The Hanging Tree song. I had no idea Jennifer Lawrence could sing so beautifully with a jazzy vibe in her voice.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. It has a good plot and mostly plausible special effects (except Katniss’ hair not moving under the hovercraft in that one scene, and so few casualties during the battle scenes, but it’s a movie for the whole family, so it’s OK). The acting was convincing, especially Josh Hutcherson did a great job at playing Peeta, who changed a lot physically even within the few scenes he had. I didn’t pay too much attention to the music, but The Hanging Tree song and Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde are very powerful.

 I am impressed and will definitely wait impatiently for Mockingjay Part 2 coming out next year. I rate this movie by 8 out of 10. Viva la revolucion!

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One Response to Mockingjay Part 1 – Movie review

  1. Great review! 🙂 I love the country twang in The Hanging Tree. Apparently the movie makers wanted it to be like an old Appalachian folk song; I think that really worked well!

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