Hey guys, happy Monday! So last week, I entered a competition for exclusive tickets to the premiere of Mockingjay Part 1 in Sydney. To my surprise, I won (may have screamed and danced around a little)! So I’m here to bring you an exclusive early review of the movie, just incase you’re still debating whether to watch it (why?!). Thank you so much to Roadshow Films for the tickets, you guys are the bomb!
MOCKINGJAY PART 1
Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchinson, Liam Hemsworth
Genre: Dystopian, Adventure
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Australian Release: 20th November 2014
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Most readers of the series will find themselves doubting this third installment. I know I did. If you’ve read Mockingjay, then you’ll know that almost nothing happens in the first half of the book, so can you really blame me for cringing when it was announced that Mockingjay would be split into two? Of course that didn’t stop me from anticipating the film, although at the back of my mind I was continuously wondering how they could make ‘nothing’ into ‘something’.
I’m happy to say Mockingjay Part 1 was everything I hoped it’d be and more. Catching Fire saw Katniss Everdeen shatter the games, and Mockingjay P1 sees her coming to terms with the aftermath of the world following the destruction of her district. Jennifer Lawrence gives her best performance of Katniss yet, and we get to see a much darker and morbid storyline as the nation of Panem starts a revolution against the Capitol. If you thought the first two films had a lot of death … wait till you watch this movie.
Mockingjay Pt 1 will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. More than once I found my heart beating out of my chest due to the suspense. I knew what the outcome was, but still, in that moment you can’t help but think the worst. What the film does better than the book is create an intense atmosphere where even the most avid fan will wonder about the outcome. The film also fleshes out parts of the story that occurs behind the scenes, like the rescue of the tributes from the Capitol. Usually I’m not a fan of inserting events that are not witnessed by the protagonist (eg. The Hobbit films) in order to extend the movie and make movie-goers fork out more money, but I must say that it worked extremely well with Mockingjay Pt 1. The length of the film is much shorter than the previous two, but it works well because it does not drag on unnecessarily.
The cast is once again brilliant. Aside from Jennifer who’s once again a badass (and can do no wrong in my eyes), Josh’s portrayal of Peeta Mellark is on point as well. Taken by the Capitol, Peeta does what he can in order to survive and without knowledge of what happened to his district or Katniss. Liam Hemsworth’s Gale plays a much bigger role in this film as we see him participating in military efforts to protect Katniss and rescue the missing tributes taken by the Capitol. There are also new additions to the team, with Natalie Dormer’s Cressida being another standout character (I love Natalie Dormer as well so I might be pretty bias here).
While I was not a fan of President Coin in the books, Julianne Moore’s performance was brilliant and depicted Coin so well. As the leader of District 13, she has the responsibility in making hard choices in order to keep her people alive all the while running a revolution. It’s a tough job and I don’t envy her for it at all. Coin and Effie have a few run-ins that provide some comical relief in a movie that’s filled with heartbreak and death.
And now onto the much debated ‘split’ of the film. I don’t remember all too much from the book so I can’t say whether it lands right in the middle or not. However, I found it worked extremely well and left off on another cliffhanger-ish moment with someone strapped to a hospital bed. I will leave it at that because I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone, but the split has my full approval because now I know what the second half of the film will be dedicated to.
Mockingjay Pt 1 deserves ALL THE STARS I can give it plus more. These films are as true to the books as an adaptation can be, and even improves upon it in some areas. You do not want to miss this next installment – book your tickets asap!
Thank you so much to Roadshow Films for the premiere tickets again!
Catch Mockingjay Part 1 around Australia from the 20th November 2014.