The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Review

Is it ever a good idea to split a book into multiple films?

The-Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Part-1

The final chapter of The Hunger Games begins here.  The popular film franchise adopted from the equally popular book series is in its final leg, and like most book adaptation films these days, they decide to split the final book into two films.  Or like The Hobbit’s case, it’s a small book splits into three films.  Anyway, just like other two parter films, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 suffers pacing issues, and the film can be a bit boring from time to time.

The film begins shortly after the events of Catching Fire, and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is having problem adjusting being the symbol of the rebellion.  In fact, majority of the film has her questioning her survival of the previous game, suffering PTSD, and asking for Peeta (Josh Hutcherson).  I want to state more plot here, but there’s hardly anymore.  Sure, there’s are many scenes where Katniss has to visit various districts to serve as the symbol of Mockingjay, but those are just things the character do, and not the overall plot.  Other than preparing for the war (part 2), it is interesting, however, the film allows us to see the rebellion through eyes of characters we’re already familiar with and care for.

Mockingjay-part-1

It’s bizarre to see how war can change characters we known already.  Katniss, Peeta and even Gale (Liam Hemsworth) are all very different from what we seen before, and in the case of one of them, the change is very literal.  Elizabeth Bank’s Effie Tinket, while still a comic relief from time to time, act as a different role in the film, despite what her beliefs really is.  Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) is no longer a drunk anymore, and serves as the only person who truly understands Katniss, other than the surprisingly Effie.

The film doesn’t introduce a lot of new character, and it’s President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Cressida (Natalie Dormer) most noticeable.  Moore does a great job portraying the character, and you can really sense a deeper agenda from the character.  Meanwhile, despite me being a fan of Dormer, her character doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.  I read the book before, but I don’t remember if her character is going to have a bigger role in part 2 or not, and I definitely hope that’s the case.

It’s strange the franchise is trying to push Katniss as a positive female role model, but most of the film has her crying and complaining about the situations.  I’m not an expert with this topic, but isn’t it the opposite of a positive female role model?  Also, didn’t we already have a plot where Katniss suffers through PTSD in the previous film?  All these crying and redundant only makes Katniss weak, and definitely not a positive role model.

Dromer-Mockingjay

There’s also a strange part when the film turns into a Tom Clancy’s one.  You will know which one I’m talking about if you seen the film.  In a way, I really like the part, but I just found the sudden change of style a bit meddling that’s all.  Also, the film doesn’t have much action sequence either, with Katniss only fires her awesome new arrows once.

Overall, the film is a slow one and mainly a build up for part two.  The film fails to reach certain marks from time to time, and it can be quite a disappointment.  It’s not to say the film is a bad one, but there’s just hardly any actual plot to follow.  But heck, the film picks a great spot to end, and it has me looking forward to the conclusion next year.

7.5/10

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