Reviews

GROUP REVIEW: Mockingjay Part 1

mockingjay-trailer-katniss-rose

ASHLEY WOODVINE:

As is au fait in film adaptations of teen book series, Mockingjay has been split in two. Part One, subsequently, is lacking in a lot of the action that the book contains. But from what I remember, that action was extremely condensed to the point in which I was genuinely muddled about who was dead, so perhaps this is gonna work out. Mockingjay worked pretty well without the action that it’s predecessors contained, it definitely didn’t bore me, but it felt like something was missing. Maybe it’s because Jennifer Lawrence didn’t have much to do outside of worrying about everyone else or being on the verge of tears. She does play traumatised remarkably though, but the performance highlight was once again Woody Harrelson being funny and cutting and tender and harsh. The opposite end of the spectrum? Liam Hemsworth was so patchy and manages to make Gale even less likeable. He’s just constantly bitter. He doesn’t ever even act that sad. My favourite part of the film was the evacuation and the amazing flashing lights scene on the stairwell – that sort of purposeful and intricate direction is what set the Hunger Games apart from the hoards of other dystopian franchises. Overall, the film was solid, and solidly depressing. Scenes of war, persecution, torture and manipulation don’t make for a happy time, especially when the tragic loss of Phillip Seymour Hoffman strikes you with every line he delivers.

CHLOE LEESON:

Amid a constant flurry of JLaw fan-girling and tumblr screaming ‘oh my god she’s so like us’, then preceded by my eyes rolling into the back of my head, Mockingjay Part 1 has been released. The hype surrounding Jennifer and her love of food often derails from what is essentially a great story with a very powerful message (if with a hint of white saviour complex) that mirrors and puts a dramatic spin on a society that so closely resembles our own.

In the first part of the last Hunger Games instalment, Jennifer isn’t really given much to do other than just be really fucking upset and a plaything/prop for President Coin of District 13. The real standout of Mockingjay Part 1 was undoubtedly Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He can light up a room and tell a thousand stories simply by raising his eyebrow and his charisma as Plutarch Heavensbee seeps through the film like sunlight through blinds, his passing earlier this year making the performance even more memorable. Josh Hutcherson takes a surprising turn too, I’ve never doubted he could act but THG hasn’t gave him the best platform, but with hijacked Peeta (and that tERRIFIC costume design for the interviews) I was scared, I was worried and his skinny frame was unbearable.

Yes, there was less action, but The Hunger Games isn’t an action movie to me, it’s a drama, it’s about raw emotion and activism and acting upon feelings, not necessarily an explosion going off every 10 minutes. The action that was there, was brilliant, but I felt that Part 1 was more about building up and breaking down relationships, bravado and characters in such a way that leaves them stripped completely bare and battle worn ready for total upheaval in Part 2.

MEL SUTHERLAND:

Aaaah, The long awaited Mocking Jay part 1. It was everything I expected really, I’m not disappointed at all, although I’m not exactly surprised either. I really enjoyed the film, the action was great, JLaw always SLAYS in those outfits and I love seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman’s face. However everything was how I thought It was going to be, nothing really blew my mind or shocked me, which would be discouraging, but like Deathly Hallows Part 1, I’m really hoping they save the best for last. Keeping Part 1 sort of toned down raises excitements and anticipation for Part 2 and I’m really hoping this is the angle they have taken and they have not held back at all for the next one. The one thing I really enjoyed and was pleasantly surprised at was Josh Hutcherson’s performance. He’s been nothing but cute and sweet so far so to see him so menacing and evil was a wonderful turn and he could really show off his skills. I was a bit frightened when he attacked Katniss, he was so skinny but so strong and even though I have read the books it did take me by surprise a bit. Overall I enjoyed the movie but not one I’d be scramming to watch again. However the timing of this film could not be better, I’ve seen a lot of people draw parallels between this and the events happening in Ferguson now, I think it always helps to have context and maybe this will help people across the world stand up for Mike Brown and all the innocent people over there.

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