Katniss Everdeen [Jennifer Lawrence] is back as the face of revolution in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. A reluctant revolutionary, but one for the people none the less.

The Hunger Games are well and truly over – the public bear baiting of the underclass orchestrated for and by the rich masses has ceased in this instalment and instead the broad allegories of reality television, politic division, war, rebellion and greed take centre stage. Having escaped, or in this case, been rescued from the Games for the second time, Katniss finds herself at the centre of a rebellion against the Capital. Katniss is delivered to the once-hidden District 13 and is expected to fall in line as ‘The Mockingjay’ – a figurehead of war – a role she never asked for but somehow landed after her Girl on Fire stint.

Mockingjay is the fulfilment of the journey that the initial two instalments set for the audience and of course, Katniss. It is designed to translate the complex notions of the story that works for young adults but is still entertaining for all audiences. The audience is taken from the most disenfranchised corners of society, to the heights or power and of course the heart of the film, the underdog’s rebellion. Whilst this is the perfect moment in the franchise to amp up the sentiment – audiences are fully emotionally invested in the series now, they won’t get off the ride til the end – it does feel a little flat after the tension fraught instalments that actually feature the brutal Games. Due to this shift, it can at times feel like a different franchise altogether.

The Games are a by-product of the government in the Capital. By the time Mockingjay starts, the rebellion against the Capitol has begun. The biggest problem within the film is that, by removing the clear narrative goal of games that must be survived, the story takes a little while to get going which begs the question why they chose to split it into two instalments.

That’s not to say Katniss and her crew have lost their sparkle. Quite the contrary. Instead the extra time that would usually be eaten up by the action of the Games is used to let the subversive messaging unfold and allows for a deeper character analysis that some cinemagoers will surely enjoy.

Although I would argue that they could have picked up the pace and added a nicely sealed ending to this otherwise fantastic social commentary come young adult action movie rather than making us wait it out until next year for Part 2.

Director Francis Lawrence, and new to the series screenwriters Peter Craig and Danny Strong faced the challenge of bringing this epic story to the boil – the inevitable confrontation between the oppressors and the oppressed. Of course they needed to build the tension, but not to the extent of making a two parter! The Hungers Games audiences have been gripped and waiting with baited breath to see their heroine help the oppressed to victory – the Mockingjay could have been their opportunity to end things with a bang rather than a very slow burn which may fizzle out by the time November 2015 rolls around…

 

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1
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About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing - although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.