Last night with my friends Annie and Rebecca went to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 last night. I know, finally. Hey, We’ve all been busy with jobs ok. Jeesh. I’ll try to keep this spoiler free as possible but read on at your own risk.
The movie itself is fine. It’s not great but it’s also not bad, either. There really wasn’t anything that I really disliked about it, to be honest, except for the whole Part 1 bit. I think splitting the book into two movies really hurt this one. I want to say to movie companies, that just because it worked for Harry Potter does not mean it will work for all YA adaptations. I mean, it only partly worked for Twilight. Breaking Dawn Part 1 was a big ol’ mess but Part 2 was actually pretty good since it wasn’t weighed down by all the nonsense of Vampire/human pregnancy drama. I’m not saying that Mockingjay will be Breaking Dawn because Mockingjay Part 1 was a good movie, not great but good. Breaking Dawn Part 1 was just bad.
So what are my issues with Mockingjay P1? First, it started off slow. To make the first half of the book into a full length feature film, they had to add scenes and draw out scenes to make them longer. This really slowed down the pace of the film. Many would argue that this was also a flaw of the book as well. The first half of the book, is the attempt to make Katniss the Mockingjay and the internal politics of District 13. Not exactly the most exciting stuff in the series. This is really only highlighted in the slow start of the movie. The movie follows Katniss as she tries to grasp what has happened and try to be who they want her to be. She (and Jennifer Lawrence) only really shine is when Katniss is able to be herself and not some manufactured rebel. By the time the movie really starts to pick up momentum, the movie ends. As one reviewer put it, that wasn’t a cliffhanger, that was a tease of an ending.
As I said before, it wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as good as the previous two. I did enjoy the scenes of the other districts rebellions. In the book, they mention the rebellions going on in the other districts but since the book is from Katniss point of view and she’s not see what is going on District 8, 7 or 5, so we don’t. It was good to see how much influence the Mockingjay, truly has. To see the rebels take up what Katniss says as battle cries and actions. It puts a whole new weight to her power that she truly doesn’t understand. I’ve always liked the little glimpses into the Capital and President Snow throughout the series but this time, we truly get to see who ruthless he really is. We obviously know that by what happens in the book but to see a man so calmly order a hospital of wounded men, women and children is chilling.
It really isn’t fair to judge Part 1 just yet as we haven’t seen Part 2. For all we know, Part 2 is going to be so amazing that splitting Mockingjay into two parts was the right call but we won’t know that until next year. I have a feeling that even if Part 2 is better, Mockingjay still would have been better as one movie.