Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mockingjay: Part One

This is the first movie installment of The Hunger Games that I didn't see on opening weekend. Partially due to busy-ness, but partially because I wanted to stall as long as I could so that I didn't see Part 1 and Part 2 so far apart. I'd heard that Part 1 kinda leaves you hanging, since they just filmed the whole of Mockingjay, then chopped it in half (although I'm sure it was more calculated than just a blind chop), but I'm here to tell you that while the end of Part 1 is a cliffhanger, it's not as if there wasn't some sort of conclusion to the story.

We last saw our heroes being rescued from the 75th Hunger Games arena, which Katniss destroyed, and Mockingjay: P1 takes us to the aftermath of that destruction in District 13. President Coin leverages Katniss into becoming "the Mockingjay," a symbol of the rebellion, under the condition that the victors who were captured by the Capitol (including Peeta) will be rescued and pardoned. In a series of propaganda films, Katniss unites the other districts and convinces them to join District 13's rebellion against the Capitol, but the Capitol has a few video statements of its own to make, using Peeta as their mouthpiece.

The final action of Mockingjay: P1 includes an underground evacuation by District 13 after a leaked warning from Peeta, which convinces President Coin to expedite his rescue. Katniss soon learns that Peeta's body might be back, but his mind isn't, and the rebellion still has a lot of work to do.

This sets us up nicely for the conclusion of the series, which, to be honest, was confusing when I read the books. I was neither bored nor overwhelmed with the action and pacing; the story moves along and plot develops nicely. Jennifer Lawrence and Co. have strong performances, and new characters fit right in. Mockingjay: Part One is a solid addition to The Hunger Games.

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