Film Review: The Mockingjay Part 1

It can always be tricky when taking on a mega hit saga and adapting it for film, but director Francis Lawrence surpassed all expectations.

The Mockingjay Part 1 lived up to the hype. With the move to split the last book in two, as is the current trend with all trilogies, its ability to sustain viewer’s attention was a worry, but it did not wain on the entertainment factor.

The film picks up after the rescue of Katniss Everdeen after the arena destruction in the Quarter Quell. It starts with her recovery from being electrocuted and her adjusting to her new home after her home, District 12 had been destroyed.

A reluctant Everdeen has to deal with becoming a mass rebellion symbol, eventually coming to terms with her role. The film is based predominantly in a subterranean district 13, which went into hiding after a mass bombing destroyed the district in a previous rebellion.

Despite comments from Rottentomatoes.com that the film contained less action, it didn’t feel slow going or dry on the entertainment factor.

Watching the film at the electric cinema may have added to the ambiance but there is no taking away the director’s skill at producing a novel-true motion depiction.

Although some of the scenes were a little overacted and overdramatised, the enthralling plot overshadows any cringe-factor moments.

Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss is true to the books. The film played on the comedy factor of Katniss’ inability to act in front of the cameras.

Although one or two scenes were a little overacted on Lawrence’s part. One scene in particular, where Lawrence witnesses a hospital destroyed by Capital bombers. She is upset and suddenly switches to a monologue off the cuff, which was breaching a tad on drama queen. It was a little jarring and took away from the tender moment.

A scene at the lake in District 12 sees Everdeen break out into a chilling rendition of the poem “The Hanging Tree” which appears in the novel.

Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark, gave an outstanding performance. Kidnapped and hijacked by the Capital, he is used as a puppet to torture Katniss, in which she demands his rescue.

He portrays the characters gradual decline into a warped and demented shell of his former character. As viewer I became genuinely concerned for his welfare.

It is at the cliff-hanger ending where the demented Peeta Mellark borders on disturbing and brings you to the edge of your seat.

The Mockingjay is brilliant and will leave you bursting at the seams for more.

Feature photo screenshot from the official trailer

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