“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One” REVIEW

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Mockingjay is beautifully one note. The caliber of the actors and the rawness of the performances make this movie powerful. That, and the stunning special effects (of which there is sadly only few). The dialogue driven story acts as a cushion between two jaw dropping spectacles (Catching Fire and Mockingjay: Part Two).

The phenomenon that is The Hunger Games has shifted gears to a different tone but a deeper meaning. While there is no arena, rabid animals, or deadly weapons there is still an intense mental game and mental manipulation that makes this movie compelling. It’s not thrilling but it’s interesting.

This is in large part because of the propos (propaganda) that’s brilliant on every front (although Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer seems surprisingly miscast). Beside’s Jennifer Lawrence’s impactful performance, Josh Hutcherson stole the entire movie with his haunting and hungry eyes (plus a pretty intense final scene). Elizabeth Banks though will steal your heart as the hilariously frustrated Effie Trinket (now forced to where pantsuits).

In terms of how they crafted a narrative out of arguably the worst book in the series, they did it well…enough. We still don’t seem to care about Primrose or Gale (which is a big problem for the next movie as readers of the books can attest). At times it seemed repetitive with Katniss crying about destruction (half of the movie is her staring at debris).

You think it’s going to end but you’re glad it doesn’t. While you’re not waiting on bated breath for what’s going to happen next you want to the film to go on forever imply because of the world Suzanne Collins has created and that Francis Lawrence has brought to life. Did Mockinjay need to be broken into two parts? No. But if it means we get another movie about the story we love, then yes.

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