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Mockingjay Part 1 Turns Up the Heat for The Hunger Games Franchise

Emma Childs, Staff Writer

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When I was in the seventh grade, I had the Hunger Games whistle as my text tone. I have read all the books multiple times and have seen all the movies. I, obviously, was and still am, a huge fan. So when the release date for The Mockingjay movie was announced, I pre-ordered my midnight premier tickets as fast as possible. I had big expectations. While the movie may have not completely translated from the version in my mind, it did a fantastic job of portraying Suzanne Collins’ vision.

Some critics argue that Mockingjay is slower paced and categorize it only as a setup for the Part Two. While I agree that it was not as action packed as the other movies,  I urge those complaining to read or reread the first half of the book. That is how the first half of the book is and the movie does a fantastic job of emphasizing the gradual stirring of rebellion.

This movie picks right up where the previous movie ended, with Katniss in District 13 after being rescued from the 75th Hunger Games. Extremely upset and confused by what has happened and how drastically different her life is, she acts out and struggles on deciding who to trust. A major part of that is the missing Peeta Mellark who has been captured by the Capitol and Katniss must stand up for her community, yet be wary of the consequences of her actions.

This movie is by far the most political of the movies and consists mainly of showcasing the propaganda both The Capitol and District 13 craft. Not only is this intriguing to see, it helps create that picture of the post-apocalyptic society with the aid of movie magic and fantastic directing.

While the book is unable to visually transmit the widespread anarchy all over Panem to the reader, the magic of film is able to really highlight this in ways that help create the entire picture.

Not only is it a fantastic book-to-movie adaptation, the acting is superb (as usual in the series). Jennifer Lawrence perfectly encapsulates this battered version of Katniss who must deal with all the confusion over the two opposing sides and the effects that come along with her actions. A massive portion of the book is Katniss’ mental illnesses and Lawrence accurately portrays the haunted girl battling with PTSD. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman delivered a spectacular performance that fully transmits the conflicting personality of Plutarch Heavensbee and his performance in Part Two will be truly missed. Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta, has little screen time but manages to resonate forcefully. Hutcherson masterfully taps into a darker side of Peeta that has never been seen before and transmits a lasting image (book-readers will know what I’m talking about!)

The majority of The Hunger Games fanbase are the readers of the incredibly successful series. With that being said, I feel the readers will be satisfied and hungry for part two. Those who are a little less informed on the plot line might be a little lost and feel that the entire movie is a giant buildup with no resolution. I encourage those of you who were left feeling empty to READ the books and then reconsider. This may not have been my favorite movie of the series but it certainly left an impact and I am counting down the days to Mockingjay Part Two. The expertly crafted cliffhanger left me with a raging appetite for Part Two, which I believe will pack the final punch into this highly acclaimed series.

 

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Mockingjay Part 1 Turns Up the Heat for The Hunger Games Franchise