Sunday, 23 November 2014

MOVIE REVIEW || The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Now before I get started on the film I just want to say that I'm not a qualified movie reviewer, I've never reviewed a movie before (this is a book blog, I review books *hint hint*) and I don't really know how to start off of where even to go from here but I really do want to talk about the first part of Mockingjay and what I thought of it - so you'll just have to deal with my yabbering.

Initially I was a bit wary of Mockingjay being split into two parts because in the book the main action sequence (when the incidental Capitol raid goes down) doesn't happen until the second half of the book, therefore I was left wondering how they were going to make the first part decent. Like, for example, with splitting Twilight: Breaking Dawn into two parts all the boring stuff was in the first half, and all the action was in the second half - I definitely would have preferred it as one film rather than two. Again, though I hate to say it, the same thing happened with Harry Potter - whilst I enjoyed Part 1 and 2 of the Deathly Hallows immensely it still felt like something was missing.

So far though Mockingjay - Part 1 shows signs of pulling of the division better than Twilight; whilst there were a few moments when I couldn't help but think "how much longer?" overall I really enjoyed the film and it turned out much better than my expectations.

The thing that I think made Part 1 the best it could be is that it was pretty much linear to the book but we also got to see outside of Katniss's perspective, we got to see what was happening in the districts and I think those scenes were some of the best ones of the entire film. This was something that within the book, since its inside Katniss's head, we weren't able to experience - I think Lawrence (director) did an excellent job with this first bit. As I mentioned earlier if you’ve read the book (which is basically law before seeing any book to movie adaptations… but I’ll let you off… just this once) then you’ll know that the first half of Mockingjay is pretty quiet compared to the previous two games, but its not a bad thing, we get to explore the characters, especially Katniss, and I think that translated really well onto screen.

I seriously have to give a hand to Jeniffer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) and Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair), the way they portrayed Katniss and Finnick in Mockingjay was excellent. The actors really showed how the characters were struggling, from Finnick with his rope – which came across way better than I had imagined. To Katniss, who may I say, looked absolutely fantastic in her Mockingjay suit. And Effie, I can’t not mention Effie, she was still fabulous even in the drab recesses of District 13. I honestly don’t know what to think about the adaptation of President Coin, I imagined her much more stoic and cold – but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy watching her on screen, yet I’m still on the fence. Nonetheless, Julianne Moore (President Coin) did a brilliant job with the role, even if it doesn’t suit me.

Now I’m sure this is the bit you’ve all be waiting for me to talk about, The Hanging Tree scene, let me tell you it won’t disappoint you. The setting is just right and Katniss sounds beautiful singing it, not to mention the great way they cut the propo together (even though you only see a little bit of it, it still looks pretty good). And there was Peeta, poor Peeta. Even though we only get to see a little bit of Peeta, at the end Hutcherson just broke my heart with his performance. I don't think anyone who's read the book can watch the ending and not be touched.

I could endlessly talk about all the various scenes but that would make this post waaay too long, so I’m going to warp it up here. The film was everything I could have asked for, and a little more, I’m looking forward to Mockingjay – Part 2 even more now. You should definitely see this one as soon as possible, unfortunately my own cinema experience got ruined a little bit with people taking out their phones and talking, sigh.

**Note: This post is going up on the 23rd but I saw the film on the 20th!**

**Lily from Lily's Book Blog also reviewed Mockingjay - Part 1! I didn't know this when I was writing my review and just wanted to point that out... but her review is brilliant and definitely articulates much more than mine (plus there's no spoilers!) so to read her movie review of Mockingjay click here!**

Let me know if you enjoyed this type of post and I might write some more movie review's in the future! Apart from books I actually do watch a lot of films, and love talking about them - the same goes for t.v shows as well!

~ Movie Information ~

Movie Title: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Release Date: 21 November 2014
Age Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 123 min
Director: Francis Lawrence
Genre: Adventure | Sci-Fi
Links: IMDb | Wikipedia | Amazon
When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to District 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of the rebellion, whilst trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.
Rating: four-stars 


  1. Lovely movie review Fionnuala! I'm so happy you ended up enjoying this movie as much as I did. I was definitely one of those few people who knew Mockingjay needed to be split into two movies to fully have an impact and I'm so happy some people are now coming aboard with my statement. I loved how this movie really explored the revolution and the politics outside of just Katniss, also, Jlaw and Sam Claflin did an amazing job showing their characters at a broken state. I ended up seeing this movie twice this weekend and loved it so so much. The Hanging Tree scene made me tear up both times, it was definitely my favourite part of the movie.
    Lovely review :)

  2. Good review Fionnuala. Felt like a manipulative cash-grab, especially considering that this didn't have to be two parts. I'll still see the next one, but I'm just a bit ticked off about this one.


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