Film Review: Mockingjay Part One

Sunday 20 September 2015 by

Mockingjay, Film, Part One, The Hunger Games

Can I first make a complaint? What is with the whole thing about splitting up films? The movie world, for starters, has an obsession for adapting book series, but then also has a terrible habit of splitting up the last book to make two films – even though it’s entirely unnecessary. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One is no different (even though the book itself is no bigger than the other two).

In fairness, the Hunger Games series is one my favourite YA series, with strong characters and plot. So I was willing to give it a go. If you don’t know the story, or haven’t seen the first two films, this is going to be very spoiler-y, so be warned.

Katniss and Peeta have survived the Hunger Games (again), but they are separated – Katniss is in District 13 with the rebels, and Petr is a prisoner of Snow in the Capitol. But the rebels want a symbol to promote the uprising, and they need Katniss to do it as the Mockingjay.

The thing about this film is that visually it’s brilliant. The style of the shots makes it both stunning and impactful, setting the scene perfectly for the tumultuous story. Jennifer Lawrence is a strong lead – playing the damaged but defiant Katniss with ease.

There is enough drama to heighten the tension – the juxtaposition of the differing sides and major players. They each are out for their own thing, dragging Katniss in different directions, and not all of them for good reasons.

Lawrence might be good, but the star of the show is the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. He is wry and darkly humorous, with a drive that is sometimes sinister. His performance (as always) is nuanced, fantastic and underrated.

There is an interesting commentary throughout this series about the power of reality TV, the power of propaganda, and never more so is it at play here: when the war is equally played through TV as it is through battle. It can make for some uncomfortable viewing.

Of all the film franchises, I would argue that this is one of the best. And Mockingjay Part One is a great film… it’s just a shame that they couldn’t make one film instead of two.

Related Posts

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *