Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

MockingjayDirector:Francis Lawrence
Based on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer, Jena Malone, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Stef Dawson

Wow. I  didn’t see it coming for this one to actually hear people muttering about wasted money and being snoozefest and all after leaving my seat in the cinema. I loved the books and the first two film installments are just perfect for me. Mockingjay Part 1 this time gave me that almost “slow-burn” of enjoying a book and being forced to drop it while in the midst of the most important chapter. That should’ve been a bummer right? But no, I welcomed it for this film.

There were some changes which I didn’t appreciate at all having read the book and feeling faithful with it but as a whole, I very much enjoyed it even with the cliff-hanging to be continued…blahblahblah.

After  the events from the last film (Catching Fire), Katniss Everdeen was persuaded to be the face of the revolution where she get to learn more about the District 13, President Coin and her people, the whole long brewing plan for rebellion and that’s when the going gets tough.

I get to appreciate Liam Hemsworth much better here since well, we see a lot of him here. He’s got some moments and there was this really angsty chemistry between him and Jennifer Lawrence.

A lot of Josh Hutcherson fans (including moi) will be disappointed though since we didn’t feel much from Team Peeta here – nuh uh – not at all. They were seriously pushed aside to focus more on Katniss. But man’ Katniss o’ Katniss delivered big time. I think I mentioned once that Jennifer Lawrence was like the “heir apparent” to The Meryl Streep and with all the hype around her over the past – like 3 years? Man’ so worth it! That speech in District eight was like – OMG! Give this girl another Oscar already!!!!

I’ve to wonder about Finnick though – he’s one of the secondary characters in the book who’s got a lengthy pagetime and here his character was like, bazzooom! It’s either they decided not to give Finnick an overly emotional focus  or the actor playing it (Sam Claflin) couldn’t really act to save his life – I’m almost leaning towards the latter because I didn’t really feel much from “his” Finnick impersonation but it could also be the material he has to work on. I loved his character in the book and felt like, he wasn’t there at all.

At first I didn’t really pictured Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin when she was announced to play the role but I thought she was amazing here. Her interaction with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman was a beautiful thing to watch. It’s really sad because it feels like we need to see more of him.

As a whole, I liked this film better than I expected if I’m being honest. I loved the more aggressive yet uber-vulnerable Katniss. The story was amplified by “enough” action sequences IMO and though, there were some changes I really think that director Francis Lawrence was able to deliver a very solid introduction to the conclusion of this franchise.

Rating: 8/10

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2 responses to “Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

  1. Nice review, I can’t wait to see this movie. I love Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Katniss.

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