Movie Review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Monday, December 01, 2014

Hunger Games - Mocking Jay Part 1 Movie Poster

For the first time, Katniss is not aiming her arrow in the movie poster for the Hunger Games:

The Hunger Games Movie Poster
"The Hunger Games" Movie Poster

Hunger Games - Catching Fire Movie Poster
"Catching Fire Movie Poster"

Which totally makes sense. I mean, after two years of aiming, she gotta release that goddamn arrow.

Hunger Games - Mocking Jay Part 1 Movie Stills
"Teacher, can I go to the toilet?"."Me too!"."Me as well!".

Movie Title - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Mockingjay on Fire (Part 1 of Mockingjay is all about setting the bird on fire. Poor bird.)

In the first movie, it was an act of defiance against the Capitol, when Katniss decided to take the Nightlock berries.

In the second, it was an even bigger defiant act when Katniss "broke the Games" with her arrow.

In the Mockingjay, the Arena is no longer confined to a single, man-made space. The Arena is now the Capitol.

Part 1 depicts the life of the people in District 13, which was long thought to be destroyed by the Capitol during the First Rebellion. The district is actually fully operational underground, equipped with modern weaponry and nuclear weapons. The film depicts the state of Panem after the Quarter Quell, and the various uprising in the other districts following the 75th Hunger Games. 

To overthrow the Capitol, Katniss once again becomes a symbol of rebellion to fuel the fire. However, things get complicated as Peeta was captured by the Capitol. As long as Katniss is the mockingjay, Peeta will never be safe under President Snow's hand. It must really suck to be Katniss - going through the Games 2 times, the sacrifices, and having to choose between love or country, at the age of 17. 

This movie is not for you if:

1. You did not watch the first 2 parts of the Hunger Games. Mockingjay Part 1 will make absolutely no sense to you. 

2. You like the Games Arena concept in the first 2 movies. There is none in Part 1.

However, you will love it if you are an avid Hunger Games fan. It sets up the tone, plot and motives for the final battle against the Capitol. 

There is absolutely no debate about Jennifer Lawrence's acting. She accurately portrayed  conflicting emotions and the fears of a 17 years old Katniss. The sense of loss, and overcoming the loss with the burning rage of revenge on the Capitol. The dark, deep, haunting symphony for "The Hanging Tree" was one of the biggest highlights for the movie (The song is now in the UK Top 40). You can actually feel the impending apocalypse ending for Panem!

The film is also dedicated to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who passed away while filming for The Mockingjay. His portrayal as Plutarch was instrumental, being the leader of the rebellion. 
I felt that the character of President Coin did not come out strongly enough for this film though.

What was actually really fun was the Mockingjay call, which was used even more prominently in this film. At the end of the movie, someone in the theatre whistled this tune, and to my amusement, someone else echoed back! It was hilarious and I just couldn't help it but to join in in the whistling. If you are going to catch Mockingjay, be game enough and join in if someone starts the whistling!

Stay back for: The ending credits, which only literature students will be able to decipher.

*** End-credits spoiler ***

I have never been a literature student, so the ending credits to me was just a cool animation. I did not even know there is a deep, veiled plot significance to it. If you are at the same intelligence level as me, do not fret, because there will always be super intelligent beings who can decipher for us, the average humans:

"The Mockingjay in this scenario is obviously Katniss. It is the name she has come to accept as a symbol in the rebellion against the Capitol and the pin has followed her throughout the course of all three films in various forms. Its movements symbolize her transformation throughout the course of the story. At first she is stooped, supplicant to the system. The arrow clenched in the bird's beak shows that she is still capable of fighting back though. This is Katniss at the beginning of The Hunger Games. When the bird raises its wings in defiance, it transforms into the Katniss of Catching Fire who inspires the people to rise up against the Capitol.

Then the Mockingjay shatters the wheel that spins around it. This is what is yet to come. Even as a defiant symbol for the rebellion, Katniss is still trapped within a system designed to control her. It is only at the end of Mockingjay that she truly breaks free when she decides to kill the power hungry leader of the rebellion, President Coin (whose last name takes the same shape as the ring before it is shattered). Katniss is still trapped within the wheels of power at the end of Mockingjay Part One and will only manage to shatter them in all of their forms in the final installment of The Hunger Games next fall."

*** End of spoiler ***

Fun fact: According to Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence would purposely eat foods with garlic or tuna fish before any kissing scenes between the two. LOL, she must have really hated Thor's brother.

Thor Chris Hemsworth

Rating (out of 5 Evilbeans):


"Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where the dead man called out for his love to flee.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.
Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Till we see you again in Nov 2015, Katniss.

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