Review: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) Dir. Francis Lawrence

The Hunger Games is a weird one for me, it’s not a series I would obviously be into. I’ve not read the books and I haven’t watched many other films associated with this up-and-coming genre called ‘Young Adult.’ However, I watched the first film at the cinema when it first came out and I thought it was fantastic. And I watched the second one on the big screen and also loved it. I loved the idea of the games, I absolutely loved the actors involved in the film and the dystopian world of Pan Am. The districts that made up this fictional place was something I could get on board with.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay featured some fantastic talent but fell short of feeling like a whole film
© 2014 – Lionsgate

The second film in the series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) had a similar plot line to the first film, in that we start of in the many Districts of Pan Am and the poverty that befalls those not living in ‘The Capitol’. And then we’ve got the build up to The Hunger Games, a tournament that takes place in some big dome in which two members of every district are picked to compete. They must kill every other player to win, purely for The Capitol’s enjoyment which offers the both of the first films’ climactic moments.

Of course, with two films following the same formula, every Producer in Hollywood knows that you can’t do the same thing three times. Goodness, even the makers of The Hangover trilogy knew that, though this information did them no good. And luckily, the third book followed a different kind of narrative too. You see, the series has been building up to a revolution against The Capitol and President Snow. The members of the 13 Districts that are impoverished by The Capitol’s dictatorship have had enough. At the forefront of this revolution? Our very own Jennifer Lawrence, our Katniss Everdeen that defied the rules of The Hunger Games in the first film and again in the second. This is no ordinary district girl, and everyone knows it.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay featured some fantastic talent but fell short of feeling like a whole film
© 2014 – Lionsgate

The book series is made up of three books with Mockingjay being the last. And, as is usual nowadays, the last book is being split into two parts for the final instalment. In this case, it really was the absolute worst idea ever. We know a revolution is about to happen, yes, we can guess that an attack is going to happen on The Capitol in some kind of Helm’s Deep fashion. And the audience is also aware of how ‘the media’ and ‘propaganda’ (or, excuse me while I gag, “Propos”) used by The Capitol is one of the prime ways that have succeeded in their rein for so long. This makes up a crucial theme of The Hunger Games series.

We all know this is coming, but all we get during this film is Katniss visiting different districts and just getting really upset at seeing all of these horrible places. And, get this, her visits are filmed by an actual camera crew which are played on TV screens where the civilians are hiding out underground.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay featured some fantastic talent but fell short of feeling like a whole film
© 2014 – Lionsgate

I did kind of still enjoy the film, it was alright, but certainly did not need it’s own film and all of those little bits of story line did not need to be told. In a time where book adaptations are making two films from one book to satisfy audience’s growing need to get every single tiny detail retold before them, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is only really satisfying the die-hard fans, the book series lovers, and the commercialism of it all.

What did you think of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1? Did you like it more than me?

Want MORE?

If you’re a fan of film reviews, you might want to read about why Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2003) is the best in the series, and my close scene analysis of Lost in Translation.

 

Rebecca

I'm the human and hair behind Almost Ginger. I'm a cinephile travel obsessive vegetarian currently residing in Manchester.