The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)
  • Time: 125 min
  • Genre: Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Francis Lawrence
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Natalie Dormer


With the Games now destroyed and in pieces, Katniss Everdeen, along with Gale, Finnick and Beetee, now end up in the so thought “destroyed” District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her friends, Katniss becomes the “Mockingjay” and the symbol of rebellion for the people.


  • Last we saw Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), she had shot the arrow that punctured the forcefield, short-circuited the Capitol’s surveillance feed, and brought the Quarter Quell edition of the Hunger Games to a chaotic close. The rebellion’s plan to rescue Katniss was revealed with Katniss and the rebel group headed for District 13.

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the first half of the trilogy’s final installment, presents itself as the transitional breather from the intense adrenaline rush of its predecessor Catching Fire. This is a decidedly sober affair, bereft of the exuberant pageantry of the televised battle royales. Confined to the subterranean bunkers of District 13, Katniss is reunited with her mother and sister but she and Finnick (Sam Claflin) bear the guilt of those they left behind – Annie (Stef Dawson), Johanna (Jena Malone) and most especially Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), all of whom have been whisked back to the Capitol by the ever-menacing President Snow (Donald Sutherland, deliciously callous).

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  • If you have read the books, you may agree with me that Mockingjay was by far the weakest of the trilogy. The first half (or maybe even more) was painfully dull for me to read.. it wasn’t until it got to the finale at the end the book picked up. This being said, I think they did a good job with the movie considering this. Yes, the movie lacks the excitement of the games that the other two had. If you had read the books you would know to expect a more political film than action-packed. I felt they played up the events in the first part of the book enough to keep the movie from being boring but it didn’t feel over the top all the same. The cast delivered great performances. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing and Hemsworth proved himself with the larger role he played in this movie. Julianne Moore was a great addition as Coin (and my god she’s beautiful!). Philip was incredible and it warmed my heart to see his smile on the theatre screen. The dedication at the end of the film to Philip made me very happy and sad all at the same time. I say go see Mockingjay. It may not be on par with Catching Fire but it sets the tone for a very promising part 2. The end with the return of Peeta was exciting and although it was the predictable place to end the film, it helped to preview just some of the intensity the 2nd part of the movie will have.

  • When it was first announced that Mockingjay was going to be split into two movies, I gawked. It’s one book. How can there possibly be enough to fill two movies? It didn’t help that my sister also found it weird, having read the book. She couldn’t see any obvious place for the split. Despite what feels like everyone else on the internet is saying, I actually support the split now. Mockingjay marks a massive tonal shift in the franchise, so it would have been a bit jarring introducing this tonal shift for the final movie, leaving you no time to settle into the new status quo left from Catching Fire. The biggest reason for my support though is how rushed everything would have been.

    When a book is adapted into a movie, there are certain time constraints to be taken into account. That inevitably means things are cut, which leaves many fans unhappy with the final product. With Mockingjay they decided to give it time to flesh out the characters; give everyone a bit of limelight, expand on various elements in the book, and just generally make sure it doesn’t frenetically jump from scene to scene or cut out important plot points. Having now scene Mockingjay Part 1, I can’t imagine it being compressed into half the running time without sacrificing the emotional resonance or rushing through everything.

    The emotional resonance is the big selling point of Mockingjay. For some it might be seen as boring, drawn-out melodrama, but for me it made Mockingjay a darker, more harrowing movie than the previous two, which says a lot about a franchise hinging on a fight-to-the-death between children in order to keep the tyrannical dictatorship in place. Katniss has lost her district, lost Peeta, and now lives in hiding with a group of rebels intent on overthrowing the Capitol. To not dwell on how that affects her and the people around her would have been a massive misstep. The franchise needed to slow down and focus on the characters.

    To say it’s only half a movie is misinformation as well. It feels like a complete movie, at least more complete than Catching Fire ever did. As I mentioned, Peeta is kept prisoner by the Capitol, and he’s being used as a propaganda weapon in response to Katniss’ propaganda by the rebels. The whole plot of the movie is about this cat and mouse of propaganda as the two opposing sides try to get an upper hand on the people of Panem. The big final climax feels like the big final climax of a story, bringing this cat and mouse to an end. It’s final moments are a resolution to the beginning and middle, and in that respect it absolutely has all three acts. Of course it has a cliffhanger moment right before the credits to segue into the next movie, but so did Catching Fire (and Desolation of Smaug, and Fast & Furious 6, and every Marvel movie etc. etc.)

    Everything else ticks all the right boxes as well; the acting is top-notch, especially from Jennifer Lawrence and Philip Seymour Hoffman (with a little memoriam for him in the credits). The visuals are on the nail. District 12 is now depicted in ruins, the CGI of the various ships and futuristic cityscape of the Capitol is flawless. There was also some fantastic use of CGI on Josh Hutcherson to make him look progressively thinner and beaten up as the movie goes along, showing the torture he must have been enduring. The musical score is fantastic, with the Mockingjay theme coming well and truly into it’s element, as well as a fully fledged song that brings the rebellion to full strength in the propaganda war.

    Mockingjay proves that milking extra movies out of a franchise doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing (looking at you, Desolation of Smaug). It slows the franchise down and gives you time to breathe before the big conclusion next year, injecting plenty of heartfelt emotion to the whole situation, fleshing out the world, developing the characters etc. However it’s not without it’s higher-octane moments. There’s a number of action scenes despite it’s calmer narrative, which expand what was in the book to blistering effect (the fantastically suspenseful climax is apparently just a few lines in the book, largely glossed over). It’s tense, unpredictable, emotional, yet has it’s light-hearted moments. I give Mockingjay Part 1 a very good 8/10. It’s made me very excited for next year when I can marathon the whole franchise in one go.

  • Mockingjay 7/10: To say that I am a fan of the Hunger Games Franchise would be an understatement. I have been eagerly waiting for this film since last year after watching Catching Fire. I am a huge fan of the books, so I had a general idea of what was going to take place in this film and where they would end it. I was a little disappointed with the movie, butI still liked it very much and was a little disappointed. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is well thought-out, very well acted, but does lack the action and intensity that made the first and second films so enjoyable.

    Aside from adding in a few propo (propaganda pieces used in the film) scenes, the director did a pretty good job a keeping it true to the book. That is the problem though, it was one book and this is only half of it. The book was honestly a little boring for the first half compared to the other two, but was still a great book because it picked it up in the second half. The film obviously had scenes that were only there to lengthen the film, were unnecessary and added little to nothing in terms of the plot. It would have been a much better film if it was closer to three hours and was just one film. That way they could have given the book adaption justice and would have been much better overall. Of course, they would make nearly double the money by splitting the book into two parts which is the only reason why they did it. The director did his best with what he was given and I give him much credit for making it a very enjoyable film.

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  • We’re back for the third and what should have been (had these companies not decided to split Mockingjay into two parts), the final (first part) of The Hunger Games. They are no longer in the arena we were all familiar with, instead they are hiding out in district 13, the rebel camp, recruiting Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) as their Mockingjay. It’s great to finally be set free from inside the arena and get to visualise just what this world really looks like, as the audience, we’ve only been allowed to see the town hall (where the tributes are selected) and the arena its self, now we can really get to know this world.

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay ends, setting up the second part really well, just like the way Catching Fire left you wanting more, Mockingjay does the same. While it achieves the need for more, Mockingjay is still unnecessarily long, with the book being practically the same length as all the others, there is only one reason it’s been split into two parts, money. It’s followed the trend of Harry Potter and Twilight and sadly won’t be the last either, the only…
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