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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review

Nebeyu Mesfin, News Editor

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“If we burn, you burn with us!”

These are Katniss’s inspirational words after witnessing innocent people being killed. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 was released in theatres on November 21, 2014. This is the third installment of the movie franchise, based off of the first half of the third Hunger Games book. It stars the original cast of the previous movies, including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee and the addition of Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin.

This movie follows the events of Catching Fire, showing Katniss’s (Jennifer Lawrence’s) struggle to work together with a group in District 13 to oppose President Snow’s dictatorship after the members of the rebellion informed her of all that was taking place. The leaders of District 13 are played by Moore and Hoffman.

Katniss is very reluctant to work with the District, and does not want to be their symbol of hope. She just wants to see Peeta again. The previous movies often consisted of a superficial love between Peeta and Katniss. This was shown through the love triangle between Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss, and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). However, in this movie she sacrifices everything out of genuine love for Peeta. This shows the development of their relationship over time, being destroyed and rebuilt by the struggles they endured over the years.

This movie is different from the previous two movies, as there are no actual fight-to-the-death games that take place. It largely consists of mass propaganda that District 13 uses to rebel against President Snow’s rule. This propaganda is built upon Katniss being the “Mockingjay” or “symbol of hope.” Some of the elements of propaganda and symbolism are actually quite hilarious and ironic. This is due to the wide range of acting skills of Jennifer Lawrence, and the director’s skill of manipulating her acting to make for pretty funny moments.

Now, the fact that there are no actual Hunger games in this movie may seem like its downfall. Despite this, the movie was satisfactory as it usually keeps audiences invested in the drama and thrills that the movie provides. The actors do a great job, and just like the previous installments audiences can get immersed into the environment of The Hunger Games. There is one scene in particular which is very intense, containing all of District 13 in a very compact place.It was clearly a step down from the other movies, as in the end it seems like the only purpose of this movie was to set up the final installment.

The movie seems to be extended by unneeded scenes that certainly are entertaining, but don’t advance the plot. Did the movie really need to be split up into two parts? Or are the movie studios just trying to get as much money as they can? Regardless, the movie is certainly entertaining, and ends off on a thrilling cliffhanger, suggesting the stakes will be raised much higher in the next movie.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay , Part 1 is currently the second highest grossing film of 2014 in the U.S.

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1 Comment

One Response to “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review”

  1. Grace on January 23rd, 2015 2:57 pm

    I think that Mockingjay part one was good, but that they split it into two parts for profit. I have read the Hunger Games trilogy and Mockingjay was not particularly longer than the other two books, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

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Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Student-Run Newspaper
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review