Saturday, January 3, 2015

MARIAH'S TAKE on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)

Genre:
Action/Adventure, Sci-fi Drama
Rating:
PG-13
Run Time:
2 hrs. 3 mins.
Release Date:
November 21, 2014
Distributor:
Lionsgate Films

Official Site:

Based on the novel by:
Suzanne Collins

Directed by:
Francis Lawrence

Screenplay by:
Peter Craig, Danny Strong

Producers:
Suzanne Collins, Jan Foster, Nina Jacobson, Jon Kilik, Michael Paseornok

Plot Summary:
The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spereads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage.

Cast:
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Jeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland


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My Thoughts:

Note: this review contains NO spoilers

An introduction to a big finale, Mockingjay: Part 1 sells a significant amount of tickets to fill in the seats. The rhythm of the movie excites the viewer with explosions and messages of hope and then dwindles down to a soft cry for grief to sink in. Leather, rinse, repeat. Throughout the movie, the viewer is taken along Katniss’s experience as propaganda for rebellion against the Capitol, while in District 13 after District 12 was blasted away. Our favorite actors reprise their roles in this sequel to Catching Fire. People can complain about Katniss’s tears and trauma driven actions but that’s who Jennifer Lawrence plays, an awkward teenage girl with posttraumatic stress disorder. Liam Hemsworth brings out the fire of insurgence in Gale Hawthorne. Woody Harrelson is a comic relief as the witty Haymitch Abernathy. The screenplay seemed to beat around the bush of what the real message was for that scene of the movie, although it probably has to do with book to movie transitions.

The performances were deep and the scenery was gorgeous. The scenery and fire (not just the combustion and smoke) were very much real and left a lasting impression of the landscape in my mind. The setting was well built, to the point where CGI didn’t even seem to exist. But these seemed like distractions from what little story, from the book, was included in Mockingjay. Squeezing Suzanne CollinsMockingjay would have been better as a single movie as there are strong differences between the movie and the book. This movie, as part of The Hunger Games trilogy, barely had much build up to excite me for part 2.

The most fitting and anticipated OST from Mockingjay: part 1, “The Hanging Tree,” however, has left a deep mental scar. The proper placement of the music in the film represents the sacrifices made by the people of the Districts in rebellion against the Capital.

My rating:




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