movies: the hunger games: mockingjay part one

the hunger games: mockingjay part one - fire burns brighter in the darkness
Let me get this out of the way right off the bat... while I'm totally on the band wagon that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay didn't need to be split into two movies, having now seen Part 1, and knowing everything that will happen in Part 2, I actually works for me.

In a lot of ways the split in this movie is a hell of a lot like the split in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows... Part 1 was a slow burn where pretty much nothing happens, while Part 2 is essentially all about the battle.

And even more so in this case, since in the book (at least from memory) a lot of the drama really comes from Katniss' internal thoughts and her conversations with other characters.

It does feel a little like they've stripped a lot of that back and instead played up the Gale vs Peeta storyline/love triangle more than was absolutely necessary. Plus the Katniss who exists in my head was a lot more numb and a lot less outwardly weepy throughout the first part of the book.

But putting all of that to one side, before anything else, Mockingjay is a very beautiful movie. And I fell like a large proportion of that comes from the costume designs of Kurt and Bart (yes, just Kurt and Bart, no surnames). Which in some ways is strange because this is a movie without the excesses of the Captiol and it's insane fashions, and District 13 where the majority of the movie takes place is decidedly grey, utilitarian and very drab.

They do make the Mockingjay look good though.

As always, from a performance perspective, the movie belongs to both Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. And even though Hutcherson is only in the movie in brief yet important scenes, his performance is definitely the most interesting in the movie and the harder one to portray given the brevity. He is helped along by some impressive CGI to create the impression he loses a massive amount of weight through the course of the story.

And Lawrence definitely brings her A Game as Katniss... the occasional bout of weepiness notwithstanding.

The supporting cast are all back again, along with a few new faces, most notably a very different and steely looking Julianne Moore as President Coin and Natalie Dormer as Cressida.

There are also some great sequences that made all the hair stand up on the back of my neck... especially the scene with Katniss singing which transitions into a chorus of other people singing the same song.

I definitely can't wait to be able to watch the two parts of Mockingjay back to back, but I still think this was an interesting way to break up the material.

yani's rating: 3 Mockingjays out of 5

1 comment:

Biki Honko said...

I was worried about movie 3. The first part of the book was nearly all internal, with Katniss really struggling to regain her sanity and footing in a very alien environment.

Like you, I thought the whole two parts for the last book was hooey, until I saw it and realized they had to cut the movie into two parts.

Totally agree with you about the singing. When she sang that song, I was trembling. It one of the most moving movie experiences in a long while.


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