Mockingjay Part 1 merely meets expectations


Mockingjay Part 1, a highly anticipated movie this year, took a new perspective on The Hunger Games franchise but didn’t fully reach its potential. (Photo Credit: Fair Use, Wikipedia)

Die-hard Hunger Games fans and casual movie-goers alike have awaited one of the most anticipated movies of this year– The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which opened this past weekend. Based on the best selling trilogy written by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay Part 1 is the third movie of the franchise. High hopes existed among fans for the third movie after the brilliant sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire.

The Hunger Games trilogy is set in the dystopian post-apocalyptic future of the United States, now known as Panem. The harsh government is headquartered in the lavish city of Capitol and figure-headed by the tyrannical President Snow. The rest of the nation, which is split into 12 districts, lives in poverty. Each year the districts must send two young tributes to compete in a battle to the death, known as The Hunger Games, in order to repay their debt to the Capitol after a rebellion many years ago.

District Twelve’s tribute Katniss Everdeen breaks the rules of the games in the first movie by saving her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, and sparks a revolution amongst the districts. In Mockingjay Part 1, she must decide if she wants to be the face of the rebellion and must weigh the risks that the role entails.

Collin’s final book, Mockingjay, will be split into two movies. Director Francis Lawrence had a tough job of recreating the awe that existed in Catching Fire with the thin material he had to work with. A few of the scenes had awkward transitions and didn’t quite seem to follow a clear order; however, Lawrence managed to implement heart-racing moments that everyone seemed to love.

“I expected it to be like the book, and it was! I was pleasantly surprised,” junior Abby Malone said. “I think its a good idea [to split Mockingjay into two movies] because it allows them to get every detail.”

The star-filled cast proved its talents by bringing the dark, political and emotional moments from the book to life. Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), and Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne) brought intensity to the big screen. The supporting actors did a superb job in their roles, and at times out-shined the stars of the movie.

Those who loved reading The Hunger Games trilogy will enjoy the subtle foreshadowing and the use of memorable dialogue from the book. For those who haven’t read the books, the fast-paced events that reveal the truth behind characters will surely surprise.

However, the staple cliff-hanging end that the past two movies featured isn’t as breathtaking in this sequel. This may disappoint those who haven’t read the book and can be unexcitng for those who have.

“I thought Mockingjay was going to be more exciting,” said junior Kristen Edwards. “My expectations were high, and it was not where I thought it should be.”

While Mockingjay Part 1 had obstacles to overcome in order to reach the standard set in previous movies, the director, along with the cast, rises to the challenge. Mockingjay Part 1 brings a new and distinct level of complexity to The Hunger Games franchise that is sure to entertain both movie-goers and book-lovers.