Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mockingjay, Part One: Mirriam's Review

She has survived the Hunger Games twice. In retaliation for her defiance, the Capitol has destroyed her home District and sent her into the arms of District Thirteen's freedom fighters. Struggling with PTSD after the Quarter Quell, Katniss knows that the hope of the oppressed rests on her shoulders - but can she bring herself to be the symbol of freedom that they need?

I'm going to go through this review as a set of pros and cons, because there were quite a lot of both. If you haven't seen it, beware - it's spoiler-heavy! (Face it; everything I write for The Fangirl Initiative is spoiler-heavy.)

INTERJECTION: They didn't need to break it into two parts. They could have edited the first part and given us a solidly awesome three-hour movie. BUT THEY CAN'T DO THAT! FOUR-PART TRILOGIES ARE TRENDING!

Katniss. Jennifer Lawrence was in her element in this film. She looked younger, like the seventeen-year-old girl she's intended to be. Katniss's emotional and mental struggles were portrayed very well - she has more emotion, more feeling in Mockingjay than she has in the two previous films. And her costume!! It was perfect. Thank you, Cinna. I actually liked Katniss a lot in this movie, and I'm not usually the biggest Katniss fan. I'm looking forward to seeing her back in action for Part 2.

Peeta. WOW. Small though his part was, it was perfect. His descent was portrayed beautifully - Josh Hutcherson's acting improves with every movie. In the Hunger Games, he was 'okay.' In Catching Fire, he was good. In this - he was really good.

Plutarch Heavensbee: We all knew it was coming, but it still sent a pang through me to see the words in loving memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman roll across the screen. He did seem a little bit absent (even when he was present) during the movie, but there were times when his character really came to life.

Haymitch. I wish his part had been larger - his introduction was awesome, but he was a very minor character. Considering he's my second-favorite character in the whole series, this was a little disappointing, to say the least.

President Snow. Nobody - I repeat, nobody - else could have played Snow like Donald Sutherland. In this movie, he's no longer trying to cover up his malicious intentions - he's evil, he's enjoying it, and he does it well.

Cressida: Okay, I think about 99% of the world has a crush on Natalie Dormer. Her part was fairly small, but who cares? She was Cressida, and she was awesome.

President Coin: This may be the first role I've appreciated Julianne Moore in. Usually her characters frustrate me to the point of wanting to tear my hair out (Jurassic Park, anyone?) but she was very well cast as Coin. Her portrayal of a smooth politician-slash-ruthless leader was excellent.

INTERJECTION - is it just me, or did Divergent set off some chain reaction where the focus is on character's eyelashes? Seriously. For someone who doesn't wear makeup, Coin takes great pride in those false lashes. Thanks for the distraction, Tris.

Gale. He has really pretty eyes. Oh, and also he's super nice and I really do think Katniss should have married him. But hey, I didn't write the story.

INTERJECTION: The abandoned mill where Gale and Katniss relax for two minutes? Yeah, I've been there. It's a place called Sweetwater Creek, and we go hiking there on occasion. You're not supposed to play around the ruins, so Katniss and Gale were officially trespassing.

Castor and Pollux. They were adorable.

Effie. Effie was perfect. The way she pulls herself together with her usual ridiculous-yet-savvy flair was spot-on.

Johanna. Okay, her part was literally 'blink and you'll miss it,' but it was thoroughly Johanna. All 0.5 seconds of it.

Finnick. Yes, I saved Finnick for last. This is because I have a bone to pick with you, movie people. A lot of people have asked me why on earth Finnick is my favorite character. I usually respond with, "What do you mean?" And then I realize, while Finnick would still be my favorite character even if I hadn't read the books, those who have only seen the movie don't know him well enough to make favorite-character status. While he was portrayed perfectly in Catching Fire, in Mockingjay we have a very sudden switch from Finnick the Warrior Prince to Finnick the Emotional Wreck. At least Katniss had a transition! My older sister saw Mockingjay and told me, "I don't see why Finnick is your favorite. He basically cried the whole time. Except for when he did the speech thing."

 In the book, it's explained that ten years of trauma have caught up to Finnick resulting in a breakdown. In the book, he's ready to go to the Capitol himself to get Annie out, but in the movie, he helps, but in a different way. Still, I have to say that he really stepped up to his game when he had to get a hold of himself and talk for ten minutes straight. Finnick has never found it easy to talk about himself or his past as a forced child prostitute. I was so proud of Finnick during that scene, it almost made up for his almost non-existence the rest of the movie. Almost.

 I promise you, though - if they skip over Finnick's part again in Part 2, I will have some Hulk-sized rage issues. He plays a huge, important, tragic part in Mockingjay, and it isn't one that can be blurred over. They'd better respect it.

The cinematography: It was wonderful, particularly the use of angles - it really helped you feel as if you were there.

The costumes: Well-designed, though not as generally creative as in Catching Fire - but Katniss's Mockingjay outfit was stunning. I'm so in love with it.

The music: It was more noticeable in this movie, particularly during the quieter moments. It wasn't outstanding, but it fit the movie nicely.

INTERJECTION: The Hanging Tree has been stuck in my head since I saw the movie.

What did you think of the movie? How did it compare to the book? Did you like it more or less than the last two? Let me know!

- Mirriam


  1. First to comment... wow! :D

    I loved TGIS move and basically thought the same things you did. In fact... I really have nothing to add. And I love that rendition of the hanging tree... I can't atop singing it!!

  2. <3 I keep singing the Taliesin Orchestra version. it's so PRETTY. ACK.
    - Mirriam