The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) Review: A Beautiful Psychological Character Exploration

Mockingjay - Katniss
Katniss discovers she has an admirer

For the first time in a long while I can finally write a review because the much anticipated first part of the Mockingjay film came out around the same time worldwide (Deadlines. You’ll understand). Those who have done a skim of the IMDB forums will discover with apt disappointment, and perhaps intrigue, that there is much hate for the movie. Even a handful of casual movie blogs are unimpressed with its merits. This review aims to examine the quality of the film alone, and compare and contrast the information from a previous article by Jemarc titled Mockingjay: Expectations from Literature to Film, to please both parties. This article is mostly spoiler free!

It seems like the world at large has forgotten that the movie was adapted from a book. Many reviewers, whether they did or didn’t read it, complained Mockingjay Part 1 did not work as a film. The Movie Blog, for example, wrote “I have a message for President Snow… I’m dying of boredom!”. Where did all the “They ruined the book! They left out one paragraph of necessary information” comments go when Twilight, and to a much lesser extent, Harry Potter were getting released? Clearly, the uncanny ability of screenwriters Peter Craig (The Town) and Danny Strong to faithfully adapt Suzanne Collins work into a script has gone ungratefully unnoticed. Splitting Mockingjay into two films may not have been the greatest decision given the thinness of the source material, but thankfully it was turned into a two hour film and not two and a half hours like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013). Francis Lawrence proves he can still work magic with Mockingjay as much as the previous spectacle Catching Fire.

President Coin introduces Katniss to District 13
President Coin introduces Katniss to District 13

When I first heard about the movie getting split in two, I was angry. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010) had plot and character threads which had been built up over seven books. It was a spider web of information, and it was completely the right choice to split it in two. Breaking Dawn (2011), being the mess of love triangles that it is, didn’t really need two movies. However, it still managed to do better than New Moon and Eclipse because it contained significantly less waffle. At the end of Catching Fire Gale and Haymitch explain to the livid Katniss that they are headed for District 13. The first third of Mockingjay’s 390 pages was dedicated to Katniss and the team discovering the fact District 13 still exists, and also depicts how they get there. I wondered “How can they fill up two and a half hours of movie when they’ve completely left out the first third of the book?”. One, by making it two hours – and two, making it the most fantastic, close-to-perfect adaption of any book adaption I have seen to date. Even more than The Fault in Our Stars.

In order to understand the seesaw of differing opinion with Mockingjay Part 1 (which will be called Mockingjay from here onward), it is necessary to understand the source material. Mockingjay takes place outside the setting of the previous two films. Since Katniss Everdeen destroyed the arena of the Quarter Quell, there is no more Hunger Games and no more fight to the death… at least, not in the same capacity. This time, the fight is much larger. This time, the riot that was building in Catching Fire has reached a peak. Instead of fighting the tributes from the other Districts, the elimination is between all the Districts against all of the Capitol. Already, we have a completely different set up from the first two movies. As such, you need to throw all expectations out the window. Mockingjay is grim. It is a psychological fight now more than a physical one, and this is shown with nearly all the characters.

The common criticism on IMDB reviews that Mockingjay does not work as a film is flawed because it follows the appropriate narrative structure of one. A film is generally structured in three acts – an introduction, a conflict, and a resolution. This movie’s three act structure is orientated around “Peeta is in trouble” and “Peeta needs to be rescued”. This is as far as the movie goes. The elements of romance and rebellion are only built up here. Viewers may need to remind themselves of what the series multiple story points are in order to fully appreciate the finer aspects of the movie.

The Hunger Games was mostly about the action and survival, with a sprinkle of romance. Catching Fire shifted gear. It was one third action, one third a rebellion story and one section romance with psychological exploration. Those who wanted just action would have found the first half of Catching Fire a drone. Mockingjay is a psychological exploration of its characters, mostly Katniss and Peeta, in the middle of a political propaganda tug of war. You won’t enjoy Mockingjay Part 1 if you like action, because it is merely a glimpse of what is to come. The exploration of its characters is done fantastically, and the highlight of the movie.

The “Peeta Rescue Mission” story that comes full circle in Part 1 is thin. It isn’t exactly complicated. On the surface, it is the equivalent of a damsel in distress flick. The reason it can be dismissed here is the plot isn’t the main point of The Hunger Games franchise – it is about the journey of Katniss and Peeta as they make their way through trauma and suffering. It is done beautifully here. The observations on trauma are portrayed so precisely, it is incredibly moving and chilling. Katniss’s symptoms of PTSD are explored via her dialogue, nightmares, dreams and the comments of the other characters about her mental state. It is drilled into the film. Peeta’s mental state is mostly brought to attention by Katniss as she tries to convince the others to go rescue him. Mockingjay has some explosions, propaganda and rebellion on the side. But those aren’t the main point of the movie because rebellion isn’t on the forefront of Katniss’s mind – her psychological damage is.

How can I ramble on about the mental states of characters without mentioning the acting? Jennifer Lawrence does a wonderful job as Katniss. The strangled pain in her voice and body language perfectly portray how clouded and distracted she is. She is a highlight of the movie, without a doubt. Josh Hutchinson is also painful to watch as Peeta. The few depictions of him on a screen within a screen (you’ll get it when you see the movie) are as heartbreaking to see as they should. These were my favorite parts of the book and they are an exact replica of the scenes I imagined in my head as I was reading. Even more impressive is where his character does a 180 and Hutchinson becomes appropriately terrifying and unrecognizable. Kudos to the good thirty or so hair and make up artists for that, too. Julienne Moore (Laws of Attraction), perfectly balances distant, diplomatic but caring as President Coin. She adds an unexpected layer of suspense to the film. Effie without her make up and Haymitch without a drink add some refreshing comedic moments to the film. Sam Claffin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as Finnick plays more of a role in this movie, and is just as charming as he is depressed. Of course, it was both joyful and sad to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman again. Francis Lawrence refused to recreate him with CGI so instead the script was changed to accomodate his passing. The adjustments are seamless. You can’t tell anything was edited. No complaints in the acting department.

Peeta looks prim and proper for the camera
Peeta looks prim and proper for the camera

The cinematography by Jo Willems (Catching Fire, Hard Candy) and set design by Larry Dias (Inception, Transformers) has always been awesome to look at with these films due to the colorful and quirky Capitol culture and fashion. This is no exception, only there is a lot less color, and a lot more grey with destroyed buildings. District 13 is exactly as it is described in the book – desolate, rigid and depressing. The Capitol is made all the more terrifying as the contrast between their colorful, rich lives, and their horrible capacity for destruction is made all the more clear. Another highlight is the soundtrack by returning champion James Newton Howard (Maleficent, Snow White and The Huntsman). Each scene is backed with a gorgeous orchestra, although this time around it is a lot darker, moody, foreboding and sad. There are next to no “Battle themes” here, but it still sends chills down the spine! A very pleasant surprise was the inclusion of the song “The Hanging Tree” from the book. It even shared a very similar melody to a popular fancover by adrisaurus . The song is about two people who decide to complete a joint suicide. The lyrics are basically unchanged which will make book fans very happy.

For book fans, did the film live up to expectations? (Non book readers should probably skip down until the last paragraph) Jemarc wrote that Francis Lawrence likes his cliffhangers “to open and end bold”. Mockingjay does both these things. The opening is somewhat jarring as it throws you head first into Katniss having a panic attack. The ending involves both Katniss and Peeta in a very interesting scenario (I said the article was spoiler-free, didn’t I?)! In regards to whether Peeta will still have the sympathies of the audience, given where Part 1 ends it is too soon to say. Audiences will definitely be intrigued, no doubt.

Jemarc also wrote about areas Hollywood could mess it up. One is in regards to the love triangle, which has been annoyingly depicted like the Jacob-Edward fiasco in New Moon up until this point. Thank Heavens, the film does not even touch this conflict with a ten foot pole. There is one scene regarding how Gale is still fawning over Katniss, but there is little exploration of Katniss’s feelings outside a short conversation with Finnick. This was a good choice. Another concern was in regards to showing how evil the Capitol is. It is finally portrayed to justice in this film, with bloody casualties, fear, explosions and many skeletons. Mockingjay does not hold back. The mutts have not been explored a great deal yet. I was surprised the details of what was happening with Peeta were not shown from his point of view, given Francis Lawrence’s choice to show things from President’s Snow’s point of view. I think it was done deliberately to maintain the impact of Peeta’s return. If we had seen what was happening to him, it wouldn’t have been such a shock. A character who is an Avox is in the movie, and all the information about Finnick’s background is kept as well. Really, Hollywood didn’t ruin the movie at all.

A thin plot it may have, but Mockingjay Part 1 makes up for it with its rich characterization, mood setting, soundtrack and spectacle. Fans of the previous two films may just have to leave any preconceived notions at the door. Mockingjay was my least favorite book, but the near perfect adaption made it my favorite of the movies. I have full confidence that Part 2 will be done justice. Highly recommended.

Rating:

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Edited by Austin, Jemarc Axinto.

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57 Comments

  1. Helen Parshall

    Jordan this is positively amazing work you’ve done here defending the film. I saw it in an early “test” screening with a bunch of my coworkers – movie theater crew jobs are nice like that. Most of them were unfamiliar with the books and walked out of the theater complaining that it was a boring film and they wasted their two hours on it. I was still processing the film, and could only argue that I thought it was brilliant. (HERE THERE BE SPOILERS POTENTIALLY) The psychological trauma was done… just beautifully. Props to the writers and to Lawrence and Hutcherson for making me try to quiet my tears amidst my unenthused coworkers. I think the District 8 scene was perfect… The film, like you said, did everything it was supposed to in regards to the book. I have full confidence that Part 2 will be one crazy amount of action, but I hope that they keep this character exploration up. It makes for an incredibly powerful viewing experience when you sink into the nuances of all that these two characters have been through. Thanks for posting! This is such an excellent piece!

    • Misagh

      You saw this in an early test screening and you did not submit a review? Why do you do this to us Helen… why… why…

      • Jordan

        Ha ha Misagh I can just see your tears of anguish!

        Thank you, Helen! I honestly don’t understand what people find so boring about the characters. Perhaps they lack empathy?

  2. So, saw it. It continues to be a great adaption of a great book series. But the split nearly destroys it. The extent to which they have stretched out everything to fill the runtime of a single film with half a story’s worth of content make the movie a serious drag and, by it’s nature as the review says, incomplete.

    There was zero reason to split this story in two other than to get audiences to pay twice for a whole film, and it shows here sadly.

    Not a bad film by any means, but easily the weakest film in the series so far.

  3. I don’t know what most people expected going into this one but i was expecting a slower less action based story, and while i think this one had problems, i thought it did pretty well to tell the story. Honestly though, it feels more like a catching fire part 2 than i mokingjay part 1

  4. Saw this last night. Extremely disappointed with it. It felt so stretched out. They could’ve easily condensed this into 40 minutes and very little would be lost. The movie just moved at a snails pace and nothing happened. The president gave a few speeches and they filmed footage for their propaganda videos. That was really it. The second movie felt like one long build up for this movie, and this movie felt like one long build up for the final movie. The first movie is the only one that stands on it’s own. This series, as a whole, has been incredibly disappointing in my opinion, although I’m sure I’m in the minority on this one.

  5. Nelia Song
    0

    This movie was long, drawn out, and exposition heavy to the point where it’s apparent that splitting it in two parts was nothing more than a mere cash grab. The pacing was at a slow crawl and this film was almost un-enjoyable for me as well as the people I went with. Leaving the theater it was apparent by most people that the movie was ” Boring” and ” Great for napping to”. I get maybe this film was designed with the novels fans in mind first and anyone else last but with titles as enjoyable and refreshing like Maze Runner released earlier this year there’s no excuse for a YA novel film to be so exhausting to watch with no real pay off. At least with the Hobbit films there’s a dragon and things frequently catching fire without someone saying so. Just an opinion though.

    • I disagree considering nearly everything in the movie happened in the book so it wasn’t drawn out for a mere cash grab it was being faithful to source material. Perhaps you didn’t read the books so you wouldn’t know that, but it was practically spot on to the book. With that said perhaps you wouldn’t have liked the first half the third book, considering yes it was a set up for the second half of the third book. Unfortunately I feel the first half was still necessary for the second half as it is with… most books.

  6. It was okay, had some cheesy parts just like the book. The second movie will probably be bad because the book had the worse ending to anything I’ve ever read.

  7. Good work on this review! Funny that a franchise first targeting teen girls would appeal to so many – but it made a great transition to the mass audience. Think me and the lady might need to go see this next weekend.

  8. It was more of a personal character development movie than it was anything else. It wasn’t about the capitol, the games or fighting. It was about Katniss and how she would develop as a symbol for the revolution.

  9. Thank you for your review! I enjoyed reading your perspective and the many directions you took in analyzing the film. Comparing it with the first two as well as how it fit with recent films that were similar in intention of creation (Teenage-girl-focused book to film) made me actually intrigued to go watch the film myself in order to view these choices for myself. You’ve brought up many great points in observing the various aspects of this movie’s intention. These are points that I personally find favor in such as quality characterization and overall purpose in the process of making this book a movie. I also appreciated that you included your spoiler alert warnings. Although I have yet to see this third movie I now definitely look forward to going to see it soon! Thank you!

  10. Amanda Dominguez-Chio

    Loved your review! I saw the movie on Friday and loved it. I thought it was a faithful adaptation and I was surprised to see so many people hating the film. I liked how the film showed the revolution gradually escalating, with both sides retaliating with propaganda and attacks.

  11. Mette Marie Kowalski

    Hey Jordan, I am so happy that this is the first full review of the film that I read. I just couldn’t bear delving into people’s negative opinions on this wonderful adaptation and stand-alone film. Jennifer Lawrence knocked it out of the park and the psychological explorations in the film left me thinking for a long time.

  12. Alexa Muniz

    I loved your review. I will take this into consideration when I finally make my way down to see the film.

  13. Absolutely true. I think this rings especially true for me. When I saw The Hunger Games, I had not read the books. So I was beyond lost and kept bugging my friend for information. Now that I’ve read the books I can honestly say they are the truest book-to-film adaptations I’ve ever seen. Including Harry Potter and LOTR.

  14. I feel guilty for admitting that I’m relieved that the “love-triangle” aspect has been backgrounded in this film – I feel as though contemporary media discourse about the franchise, inasmuch as it focuses on the “Team Peeta/Team Gale” conflict, recapitulates the message of the texts themselves: that the media, in the interest of preserving order, will use anything as a distraction from sites of disorder.

  15. Usually I would NEVER defend a YA movie other than Harry Potter but Mockingjay has become my second favorite YA franchise ever due to Mockingjay. The Hunger Games really is never about the
    Hunger Games or action. For those who disagree, well you are basically the audience in the capital. Shame on you! The world building in this movie is phenomenal .
    The District 12 and hospital scenes is some of the most emotional and best scenes in the series. You really come to hate the Capital and President Snow. I am someone who enjoyed the first 1 hour of Catching Fire more than the next hour so Mockingjay is really my favorite movie in the series.

    • Jordan

      I also enjoyed the first half of Catching Fire. I guess there is a definite split between the audiences and what they are hoping to get out of the movies.

  16. I think the split works better here than in the Hobbit for example, since the climax goes somewhere and there is some conclusion unlike the cliffhanger of the Hobbit which coulda work at the moment…but after a while you start seeing how artifitial the climax was, how much time you lost in the wrong places etc…so yeah, I did like the film.

  17. isabelle
    0

    it was okay, the end was the most interesting part.

  18. I had serious doubts about Part One, but it was a very good movie. They really fixed the problems in the book. Now I’m sad because we must want an entire year to see the Part 2. It’s going to be a LONG wait.

  19. The entire theater could not wait for that movie to end. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

  20. Lester Kent
    0

    Well I guess I’m in the minority here, but I really enjoyed the film. At first I wasn’t huge on The Hunger Games Franchise, but they have grown on me with a multiple viewings. I can now say that I am a fan of the films.

    This one may not have had much action, but I knew from the start that it wouldn’t. For what it was, it entertained me the whole way through. Some great acting and some great moments in this film. Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be missed. Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful.

  21. As a fellow Hunger Games, I agree with you on almost everything. Like you said, many movie-goers that saw Mockingjay Part I were disappointed, but as a reader I understand that the book was that way. I still don’t think that the movie should’ve been split into two parts, and that was just a ploy to make more money, but nonetheless the movie did a great job capturing the themes of the first half of Mockingjay. If the producers had made it into one movie, then perhaps it would be more appealing to the general audience, as we both know the second half of Mockinjay is action-packed.

    • Jordan

      They made the Peeta scenes perfect so I don’t care if they’re just cashing in…. Big Peeta/Katniss fan here ha ha

  22. Your article is amazing you defended the Mockingjay very well. I haven’t read the books yet but I plan too. I did expect a lot from the movie because I knew that it was going towards a rebellion against the government. I found this movie to be the best one yet and I am thrilled to see part 2. You are right Mockingjay has very little action because it goes into the heart of the problem and how those who aren’t in the capital view their situation. The people at the capital are oblivious to the living conditions of the districts or refuse to recognize those conditions. The approach that was taken towards Mockingjay was definitely appropriate considering how so many people who survived the game have had nightmares and are traumatized because of their experience. Great job on the piece and defending the route that the director and writers took Mockinjay.

    • Jordan

      I’m very glad you liked the article 🙂 Makes writing it all the more worth it! The books are very close to the movies. You see more of the side characters, though.

  23. This was a well put article! I have never read the books but the movies are great! I was so busy being captivated about finding what happened to the characters after they were extracted from the games and how the rebellion had developed in the districts inbetween the two movies to even notice there was barely any action in the movie. I wish more people could appreciate what this movie meant to the story because it is way more than a “set up” movie as what my dissappointed friends called it after we saw it in theaters. This review defended the movie well and I thank you! Maybe ill show this to me friends haha.

  24. Terry Adams

    I was once completely obsessed with this series; I read all three books over the course of a week a few years ago. The first film was also very good, but I began to lose interest as time went on, and I haven’t seen Catching Fire or Mockingjay. I like your mentioning of the conflict of splitting the film into two parts, as it was one of the main criticisms I had seen that people had when discussing the film.

  25. I really loved the slow pace of the movie and the shift in tone.
    Keiko

  26. Antoine
    0

    I tried to get into this series the best I could, I just wasn’t feeling it

  27. LuceFallon
    0

    I really liked the movie. Very faithful to the book. It captured and conveyed the tone of the book well. Sure not a lot happened but it built a strong base for the finale. It’s just unfortunate that we have to wait a year for the rest. If it was only 6 months away, I think people would feel differently about these 2 part movies.

  28. in my opinion, The Hunger Games Mockingjay, Part 1 is one of the best movies of the year

  29. The first one is the best one

  30. President Snow is one intimidating mofo. Props to Mr. Sutherland for the acting skill.

  31. I liked the Hunger Games part of things, not this poor people fighting against the rich people

    • Socorro Shull
      0

      Well it’s kind of like Harry Potter in the respect that Voldemort wasn’t featured as main villain until the the end of the fourth book. He was always just kind of lingering in the background. With Hunger Games the games where the main focus of the first two books and the rebellion of the districts against the capital was the thing lingering in the background.

  32. John Wirth
    0

    In my opinion all the films in the Hunger Games saga have suffered from a general lack of quality. It’s not one thing, it’s everything. Scripts, acting, set design, sound, camera work, all of it feels like people could have tried harder and simply decided not to. The entire thing reeks of mediocrity.

  33. I agree that this film really delves into the psychological aspect of the series. From the first few seconds of the movie where we see Katniss shaking and repeating the things that she knows are a fact, it’s clear where the focus of the movie is going to be, as well as how strong Jennifer Lawrence’s acting skills are.

  34. This article was very well written!
    I loved the film and didn’t feel bored by any lack of action that might bother the book fans. Splitting the book into two parts, in this instance, has given the director, writers, and actors the opportunity to emphasize parts of the book (like the psychological development of the characters) that might otherwise be lost in a movie so full of action and emotion.

  35. Michael Clancy

    I found the film to be by far the most interesting Hunger Games film to date; I really enjoyed the way that propaganda was used as a weapon and was relieved that it wasn’t so dependent on action (apart from the literal ‘save the cat’ moment, which was completely unnecessary).

  36. i had my doubts about the first part of this movie due for the reason that its basically a search and found part with peeta and a political propaganda to fuel the rebellion. i did felt the movie went a little to slow for my taste, but i agree with you on how they portrayed how each character psychological and mental changes are represented its really rare to see that in a movie but mockingjay managed this with such ease and sensitivity that it really amazed me.
    P.s. i love the adaptation of ” the hanging tree” song

  37. Brett Fletcher

    I’m still working my way through the books (shame on me) but your thankfully spoiler free review was welcome news amid all the hyperbolic Twitter rages against Mockingjay. Nicely done!

  38. remembrance

    The complexity may seem contrived. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining film.

  39. Fans fail to think before they go into movies which is great for the movie’s box office earnings but bad for the user reviews that the film gets. This was a good film but not a great film in my opinion.

  40. Book one and two are amazing … Third one is woeful

  41. Ben Hufbauer

    Good review! I somehow felt echoes of Animal Farm and 1984 in this movie. Wish you’d explored the political angles a bit more….

  42. Samantha Brandbergh

    I thought this movie was okay. I thought it was kind of slow and expected more action. I am hoping that Part 2 will be a little more exciting

  43. Mockingjay was my least favorite book out of The Hunger Games Series–I found it difficult to get through (which was a disappointment because I previously finished Catching Fire within 2 days). But despite my attitude towards Mockingjay, I enjoyed reading your analysis about the character development of Katniss. I also loved how you addressed the issue with splitting the books into two films.

  44. The big challenge I see with the Hunger Games series is that the quality of the storytelling in the books declined throughout the series, leaving the filmmakers a very difficult job for the adaptation of the final books. Often the third film in a trilogy (and I’m considering this to be a trilogy despite the splitting of “Mockingjay” into two fils) suffers from an inability to out-do the first and second filmms, where the excitement of introduction and building tension take place. The third film is burdened with the obligation of both attempting to continue to build tension at least until the midway (or, better, 2/3 point) while also beginning to wrap things up.

    This is a big enough challenge when the source material continually gets better, or when there is no underlying source material. It’s a huge problem when the source material does not get better and deeper throughout (which is, in my opinion, a big problem with The Hunger Games books that has carried through into the films).

  45. April Roach

    This is a great review! I saw the film yesterday and confess that I enjoyed it more than the book. I felt that Mockingjay was a bit rushed and hurried in coming to an end and with two films, it seems that the directors are able to offer a more realistic portrayal of Katniss’ psychological struggles. Your review is well written, very structured and convincing.

  46. catisfat

    I must say, I had complaints after watching Mockingjay. I didn’t read the books because I thought it would be better to not know what’s going to happen next. Turns out, that is not the case here. I’ve heard from many that reading the book would give me a greater appreciation for the movie.
    You hit some things right on the head in your review. Especially, when you said that the setting of this movie is totally different from the previous installments. Moviegoers should’ve went into the movie knowing it wasn’t going to be as action-packed. Overall, great review!

  47. StephKocer

    I’m always wary of Hollywood splitting movies into two parts, but I agree with you that it works with Mockingjay. It’s the weakest book in the series in terms of plot and action and people seemed to forget that, like you point out, it has a completely different plot structure than the first two books. They aren’t fighting games anymore so that takes a main element of action out. Action films are not my favorite genre so Mockingjay was the perfect combination of suspense and storytelling. A lot of times Hollywood forgets to tell the story when they’re wrapped up in CGI and making a film appeal to a larger audience. Mockingjay let’s the audience see that struggle Katniss is going through and I completely agree with you that Jennifer Lawrence makes the film with her performance. I think Mockingjay shows how a book to film adaption can be done right.

    Thanks for shedding some light on the other side of the reviews!

  48. Jemarc Axinto

    Oddly enough I have not commented on this (though I did read this). I was very pleased that Hollywood did not sugarcoat a lot of what was written in the book. I also appreciated a more likeable President Coin. Taking the experience out of Katniss’s head was a good choice for all of the films over-all.

  49. I think what has come to be expected of YA film adaptations is that there will be passion, romance, sexual tension, angst, and action (depending on the film). People expect that an adaptation of a YA movie will be a hormonally fueled festival of teenage emotions. The Hunger Games are not books about teenagers and their feelings. It is about a war that happens to feature teenagers as the protagonists.

    Mockingjay Part 1 is slow, but it is slow for a good reason. Anyone who has read about war (or paid attention in History) will know that people do not start fighting the day after a war is announced. There is a build up. A sort of tension that bubbles beneath the surface. Mockingjay Part 1 literally featured tension bubbling beneath the surface with district 13.

    I think that our society nowadays expects movies about war to be the type that begins conflict immediately, but that is not how that works. Even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows shows this. There is a significant portion of time spent setting up for the war. Mockingjay is doing exactly that. They are creating the clouds before the storm.

    Mockingjay was my least favorite book in the trilogy. I thought it did not reach the potential that it could have. Mockingjay Part One is my favorite of the movies thus far because they took everything that Suzanne Collins failed to do and did it. They showed the harsh realities of what war does to a person. How skewed the lines of truth and lies are. In the books we are limited to seeing what Katniss sees. We have a very unreliable view of how the world is working around her. The movie shows everything. We see things how they are. We see Katniss as fallible, which is the point.

    In truth, I was disappointed that they were splitting the movie, but now I can see the benefits of it. By splitting Mockingjay, they can take the time that they need to set up the climax of the entire series.

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