018. MockingJay Part 1

27 April 2015

Jumping straight back into action, Mockingjay Part 1 starts where Catching Fire picks off. As Katniss struggles to come top terms with the loss of her comrades especially Peeta, District 13 begins to prepare together the equipment to take on the capital. A war is brewing right on the horizon, and so much is at stake.

I was never really a fan of the final book in The Hunger Games series, mostly because of it's sour end. I expected to love the first part of Mockingjay, and sourly dislike the latter. But I'm surprised to say Mockingjay Part 1 is my least favourite film in the series. The story itself sets up for epic finale I'm sure, but that feels like this movie's main and sole purpose. It was truly amazing seeing the political workings of a war, but everything else falls short. The engaging elements from the book were missing from this military based adaptation, and I really don't understand why, since it had enough time to divulge and explore. It's clear that Katniss takes complete front and centre in this film - with very little room for other players to contend. All in all, I'm pretty disappointed with the outcome of this movie, and I can already tell that Part 2 will definitely be better than this.

Time for Spoilers ....

I have to say the second half of the movie was definitely better than the first. The ever slow pacing began to start picking up as momentum continued on. Seeing the acts of rebellion taking place against the Capital was an absolute treat. I loved how this movie expanded on the things happened outside of District 13 in the way the books never did. It was intriguing seeing President Snow combating these acts, living in his luxury and calculating every single move.

I also liked how this movie gave Coin humanity, which I felt was lacking in the books. Julianne Moore made me actually care and sympathise for President Coin. She definitely stood out the most to me in this filming - shining as a bright light.

One of the main things I absolutely hated in this film was the fact that all the important supporting character roles were practically side lined, and not for reasons that added true value to the film. With Katniss's spark was lacking in Mockingjay  - as it should have been with all she's been through -, this was the perfect opportunity to explore other character perspectives  in the story. That would have helped to keep the storyline rich and developed. But nope - Katniss is the main focul point of this film, and her struggles dominate over everyone else's.

I hated the fact that the producers skimmed over the details of Finnick's storyline - which deserved so much more attention than it received. It was completely and utterly overshadowed by Peeta's rescue - and dismissed. For heaven's sake, this is the reason why everyone is fighting against the capital, why they should be stopped. Katniss wasn't the only person whose life was affected by the system. She isn't the only character in this story. Other lives were important here too. She may have been the face of the rebellion, but she had supporting figures who helped her get there. Where were they in this movie?! Why were they just hashed over?

I also can not believe they created this intensified love triangle in the mist of things. I could be wrong, but wasn't Gale the one who stood up for Peeta? Isn't of condemning him to the point of no return, did Gale provide understanding to Katniss over his actions?

Speaking of Peeta, I really wished there had been more of a emphasis on the change in Peeta over time. It felt very pseudo change - like Katniss had to say what was happening. If Peeta had been shaking more severely, his eyes frantic - darting back and forth in his interviews - if the audience had felt that discomfort and stiffness, it would have been much more impacting. It definitely would have helped legitimise the storyline - though I do get the feeling we shall be seeing so much more of that in Mockingjay Part 2.

Mockingjay Part 1 is the weakest link between all the films released in The Hunger Games series. It lacked a particular spark and burst of fruitful energy that was present in the other films, especially as the prime focus was only on Katniss.  I hate to say I was thoroughly disappointed.

What did you think of Mockingjay? Hit or miss?

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