Mockingjay – Part 1: 2.5/4

Mockingjay – Part 1: 2.5/4

After an elaborate rescue mission from the 75th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is sent to the underground District 13, comprised of those who wish to fight against the Capitol’s oppression of the districts. Mockingjay – Part 1 focuses on District 13’s effort to rally up the other districts in a war against the Capitol. With Katniss as their “Mockingjay,” the other districts would be inspired and eventually follow the rebellion.

One of the main criticisms voiced even before the movie was released was the fact that Mockingjay had been split up into two parts. After seeing the end product, I think these complaints are completely justified. I don’t think that the book Mockingjay had enough content and action to create two distinct compelling movies. In Part 1, the whole movie is alluding to a big battle about to occur. Katniss shoots propaganda videos, visits and inspires wounded civilians, and is provided with new armor. However, by the end of the movie, no big war or action scene was ever actually shown. For most of the movie, I was constantly waiting for something to happen and was constantly disappointed.

Additionally, I disliked how some of the scenes from the book were translated into the movie. In one important scene in the book, Katniss’s prep team was discovered, imprisoned, and abused in chains and shackles, simply for having stolen some bread. This scene was significant because it showed Katniss the violence that President Coin (Julianne Moore) of District 13 was capable of committing. However, the movie lightened the seriousness of the scene by having the prep team replaced by Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), who is only portrayed as viewing herself to be imprisoned and oppressed in 13, while in reality she is allowed complete freedom. The movie opted to get a few laughs out of the audience rather than to include that important scene.

On the bright side, Mockingjay – Part 1 had some redeeming qualities. While the addition of Effie Trinket diluted some sensitive scenes in the book, I liked the comic relief she provided, and thought that her character was played well. I also really enjoyed that the film incorporated scenes taking place in the Capitol with President Snow and in various districts where the rebellion was occurring. It successfully painted a more complete picture of the war. In addition, I appreciated that the movie generally stayed true to the first half of the book and included many of the important scenes.

All in all, I would have to say that I was rather disappointed with the movie. It was extremely dull, and it kept leading the audience on, while failing to deliver any action or excitement. I would not recommend the movie to someone looking for a thrilling viewing experience. However, the movie might be entertaining to Hunger Games fans who are looking to watch a pretty accurate movie representation of the first half of Mockingjay.