Mockingjay Part 1 (Review): The Odds Were in Their Favor

26th November, 2014. 8:40pm

A few days before its premier, I deliberately avoided every Mockingjay interview and sneak peeks; I don’t want to get spoiled by watching scenes from the movie before I even get to see the entire film. Thank God I did this because, for me, as a fan, this is by far one of the best Hunger Games movies so far.

I would understand non-book readers’ reaction. Even those who have read the book would say that Mockingjay is the worst in the trilogy. But personally, I beg to disagree. I love Mockingjay because it tells more about how corrupt the government could be, and how one voice can make a difference. Mockingjay isn’t about child’s play anymore, this is a seriously war movie.

I’ve read Mockingjay twice and listened to the audiobook four times, but about two days before watching the film, I re-read (well, re-listened to the audiobook) again. If you haven’t seen Mockingjay, you’re gonna have to move on to other posts now because from this word forward, you’re gonna be seeing LOADS of spoilers.
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What are you still doing here? Go! I’ll be fangirling here so much I’m gonna spoil it for you!
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Still don’t want to go? Fine. But don’t say you haven’t been warned.

The Opening Scene
At the end of Catching Fire, we know that Peeta (and Johanna) was captured by the Capitol. From the moment *the camera pans to Katniss inside the air vent, it was a tear-jerking moment; I was already tearing up. Jennifer Lawrence did an awesome job muttering the technique the doctor gave her—“My name is Katniss Everdeen…”—It was so heartbreaking because it looked like she was losing her mind, which by the way, how Katniss was supposed to be (in the book, she was diagnosed to be mentally disoriented). I cried with her when she mentioned Peeta’s name.

Effie Trinket

Effie-Stylin-in-13

Photo c/o: thehungergames.wikia.com

When they announced that Elizabeth Banks’ Effie Trinket will take the role of Fulvia Cardew, I wonder why, but then *when I first saw Elizabeth Banks after Katniss finally agreed to be the Mockingjay, I finally understood. She was right; no one can do the job better than Effie, and it would just make more sense if it was Effie assisting/escorting Katniss rather than adding one more character that we will only see in this two-part film. As always, Elizabeth Banks rocks as Effie. She may be the fish out of the water, but she was irreplaceable. I had a lump on my throat when *Effie put the Mockingjay pin on Katniss before they tape the first Propos. It reminded me of Cinna (because he used to do that to Katniss). Her and Katniss’ exchange of looks was equally heartbreaking as remembering what President Snow ordered to do to Katniss’ stylist.

The Hanging Tree

I love that they asked Jennifer Lawrence to sing this song herself, rather than ask Lorde or any other (unknown) singer to sing it for her. Now, I noticed some people say that she can’t sing. Uhm, excuse me, but Katniss Everdeen wasn’t supposed to sound like Beyonce or Celine Dion or Barbara Streisand or Arianna “Diva” Grande. And, in my opinion, Jennifer Lawrence did a great rendition of The Hanging Tree. I was actually waiting for the Mockingjays’s version of the song, but the film showing the rebels instead is one thing I can accept.

Peeta

Peeta-Crying

Photo c/o: jabberjays.net

I was sobbing just seeing Peeta. I know they just digitally made Josh Hutcherson look extremely thin, and it was a superb visual effects, but Josh’s acting was incomparable. I can now understand when Jen said (in the Press Conference) how seeing (Josh) in the monitor over and over and looking so thin and tortured was such a, well, torture.

The final scene

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Hijacked Peeta
Photo c/o: jabberjays.net

I was expecting to see this scene. A lot of fans theorized it was going to end with *Katniss being shot in District 2, but the moment I read the book I knew they were going to cut it in that scene. Especially when they revealed that Part 1 is all about saving Peeta, I just knew that it was going to be that scene. However, I did not expect it to be that way. In the book, it was said that Peeta just wringed her neck but in the movie, *Peeta practically jumped on Katniss and attacked her… twice. It was shocking and heartbreaking at the same time.

The Mockingjay Uniform

empire-cover-jennifer-lawrence-katniss-everdeen-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-one

Photo c/o: wegotthiscovered.com

Now, this is some sort of a disappointment for me. Katniss’ Mockingjay uniform was supposed to have “carefully tailored layers of body armor, hidden weapons in the boots and belt, special reinforcements over her heart.” There was also supposedly a little pocket on her collarbone where she could hide a nightlock pill, which was given to every rebel that will act as a fail-safe in case they were captured. This (nightlock) was not included in the film (at least in the first part). The Mockingjay uniform looked stunning, and I could get past that, but it was Katniss’ especially designed bow and arrow that I find very disappointing. *I was waiting for the bow to come alive at Katniss’ touch, but it never happened. It was just a regular-looking bow. The bow Katniss used in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire looked even better! Although, the arrows did look great, I must say.

“I Kill Snow”
Before Katniss agreed to take on the role of the Mockingjay, she cited a few conditions, but this one was clearly missing. However, director Francis Lawrence did tell MTV that, at some point in Part 2, that particular line will come out.

Additional Scenes

Peacekeepers in District 7

Peacekeepers in District 7
Photo c/o: jabberjays.net

One of the things that I love about Mockingjay Part 1 are the scenes they added to the film, whilst staying true to the book. While the added scene where they showed the rebels being shot in the head was VERY disturbing, it was also essential to the movie. I also love how they show the rebels in District 7 fighting the Peacekeepers. It was minimal, but essential.

The Switching of the Lines
Just like in the last two movies, there were also a few switching of the lines in Mockingjay and I think they were alright. One of these lines was *Effie handing Katniss the sketch of her Mockingjay outfit that Cinna made before he was killed. In the book, it was Plutarch Heavensbee that gave Katniss the sketch, but letting Effie present it to Katniss just made more sense.

The Perfect Katniss

607x611xKatniss-Mockingjay-Instagram.png.pagespeed.ic.oXao3WBoLS

Photo c/o: hungergamesdwtc.net

I don’t care what other people say about Jennifer Lawrence being “overrated”, she is the perfect Katniss. She understands Katniss, she lives, breathes, and portray Katniss Everdeen so perfectly. From the emotions down to how Katniss looks, thinks, and feels, Jennifer Lawrence got it so well. Wired.com actually wrote a great article examining how bad Katniss’ PTSD is. I think that Katniss dealing with PTSD is widely evident not just in Mockingjay, but also in Catching Fire.

And no, no amount of fappening can taint how I feel towards her. She’s a great actress, that’s what’s important. What she does in her personal life is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS.

Dragged On?
Screw the press and everyone saying that it felt dragged on. It’s pretty understandable for those who haven’t read the book, but if you have, you’d understand it. Everything they showed on Part 1 was essential to Part 2.  And no, Mockingjay can’t (shouldn’t) be done in one movie. Why? Because *Part 2 is all about all-out war with the Capitol. There was SO MUCH Capitol scenes that need to be shown, so no, Mockingjay could not be in just one movie, okay?

Overall Rating
I’d say 9 out of 10, because 1. I’m a big fan; 2. despite of a (very) few disappointments, they stayed true to the book, and 3. because The Hanging Tree.

KTHXBYE.

Jhack

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