I’ve seen both The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a few times and I’ve also read both books. I haven’t read the third book yet since I wanted to be completely surprised when watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1. I also stayed away from the many trailers so I knew as little as possible.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1, The first part of the final chapter, is in short an excellent warming-up for next year’s final part! The first and second film in this franchise had a lot of action compared to this one. I’ve read that many people missed the action, but I don’t see it that way. This film has a total different angle: Showing everybody in the other districts the Mockingjay is alive and ready to fight with them against the Capitol. The film has a certain tension which keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat. There are some very horrible and impressive moments too which might break your heart a bit. “If we burn, you’ll burn with us!”
After Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) destroyed the 75th Hunger Games she’s taken to District 13. The District that was bombed many years ago and of which no one knew if there were any people left. But there were survivors and they made a complete and impressive new town underground, out of sight of the Capitol and the vicious President Snow (Donald Sutherland). After the 75th Hunger Games District 12 got bombed but the lucky ones escaped and went to District 13. So now in the new district Katniss meets their president: Coin (Julianne Moore). Coin and former game-maker Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) want Katniss to be their symbol of rebellion and to unite the other Districts.
Once Katniss agrees, she needs to make some propaganda clips for the other Districts to see she is alive and ready for battle. She gets her own crew, amonst them is Cressida (Natalie Dormer) of which I hope she’ll have a larger and more impressive role in part 2, and they go to the other Districts. Katniss’ speech in District 8 was really impressive, I would join her battle in a heartbeat! She also goes back to District 12 to see what has happened there. It’s really shocking what she sees and when she realizes there’s more, it breaks her heart. This was a moment I got tears in my eyes. When she returns to this place with Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and her crew, Gale explains why we see what we see (very cryptic I know) which makes it more sadder. There are more horrible moments in the film, which certainly makes up for the lack of action. Another very impresive moment was Katniss’ song.
In the meantime, it is Beetee’s (Jeffrey Wright) job to make sure this propaganda clips are seen by the Districts and the Capitol. Beetee’s workplace looks amazing! Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) are also back to support Katniss. Since Effie is also in District 13, she’s to do it without her colourful wigs, dresses and make-up. But that doesn’t hold her back to look as pretty as she can and I also like her whole attitude about this new situation. Haymitch’s moments are countable on one hand but he was again very helpful and the thing he said to Katniss was really sentimental. Finnick (Sam Claflin) is also in District 13 and despite of his ‘shakiness’ appearance he gave an incredible speech and revealed some interesting secrets. This was one intense moment because in the meantime there was something else big happening as well! Lenny Krevitz’s Cinna is spoken off once. The last time we saw him was just before the start of the 75th Hunger Games in Catching Fire. But it was only when Effie handled Katniss a portfolio and the word was out, we really knew about his unfortunate fate.
But what about Peeta (Josh Hutcherson)? The last thing I knew before going to the cinema, was that he and Johanna (Jena Malone) didn’t escape from the 75th Hunger Games. Nobody really knows for sure what has happened to them, so imagine how Katniss feels when she sees Peeta on-screen with Ceasar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci). No laughs from him but only serious questions towards a different looking Peeta. You really see that he’s still protecting Katniss with all the consequences it entails for him and how emotional he is. Peeta is the Capitol’s weapon as much as Katniss is the District’s weapon and the Capitol is using that. Of course Katniss wants to rescue him, Johanna and Finnick’s girl Annie Cresta (Stef Dawson) but at what cost?There was one moment I thought: “What the F#? This can’t be the end!?” It really could have been since the real ending is not that different. It’s a huge cliffhanger for those who haven’t read the book. We sort of know what happened but we don’t know what this will mean and if it can be reversed. I don’t know if I can wait a year without knowing what will happen next, so maybe I will read the book by Suzanne Collins!