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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - Film Review

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Published November 20th 2014
A symbol of the rebellion
hunger games, mockingjay part 1, film review, movie review, jennifer lawrence, liam hemsworth, julianne moore, sam claflin, josh hutcherson, donald sutherland, phillip symour hoffman, woody harrelson
All images © Lionsgate and Color Force

Surviving the Hunger Games not once but twice and coming home without Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is having nightmares and could possibly be suffering from combat fatigue. She is being taken care of in an underground facility in District 13 after escaping the Capitol when she took down their forcefield (Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and disabled their surveillance system. This in turn virtually ended the Hunger Games. Since then without her realising it, she has given the people hope that perhaps they can do something about their fight against the Capitol. On the mend, she is approached by President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (ex head game-maker Philip Seymour Hoffman) to be the symbol of the rebellion planned against the Capitol, to be the 'Mockingjay'.

Blaming both of them and angry about Peeta being left behind, she resists becoming a symbol and has the President believing she is not the Katniss she once was. In his wisdom Plutarch suggests she is given enough leeway to find out about the destruction that the Capitol has extolled upon the districts for herself. She goes to the district where she used to live and sees firsthand the devastation and destruction that had taken place there. This prises the true spirit of Katniss to rise and do all she can to help the fight against the Capitol, but with some conditions of her own to be imposed. From then on some real life situations give rise to a few promotional propagandas that is seen around the district, giving the citizens hope to fight another day.

I feel quite blasé about this movie. There were no real highs, lows nor amazing feats from the characters that took my breath away. It seemed to be just preparing the ground for hopefully what promises to be a full on amazing rebellion against the Capitol in part 2 when it's finally released. Even as the movie ended I just felt like I was caught in a lull, going nowhere. Let's hope that they have prepared the ground well enough to make part 2 really amazing. I sure hope so because this was a bit of a waste of time.

I'm not saying it wasn't watchable but it seemed like everyone was biding their time, holding the bow back so to speak, hopefully to reach its aim when the time comes. All the characters played their roles, but no one really stood up and gripped you by the emotions and endeared you to them. In the first two movies of this trilogy you see Katniss grow from strength to strength as a contender and get better at her skills. In Mockingjay she doesn't get a chance to hone her prowess but does get emotional and tears up a few times.

Maybe it's just my perception, but I walked out of there wondering how I sat through 123 minutes of the movie and still managed to feel that everyone took a backseat and individually didn't really play a very big part in the movie. That no one really stood out as the star of the show. However, understated as it was, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman's talent still shone through in spite of the understated mediocre roles they played. As I mentioned before, it doesn't mea it's not a pleasant enough movie to sit through and I daresay you would still enjoy it as long as your expectations aren't too high. It rolls along at a good pace and I figure if you've watched the other two, you'd want to complete the trilogy. I give this a 6 and a half out of 10.

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Why? Part 1 of the 3rd instalment of The Hunger Games - Mockingjay
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