If you thought “Catching Fire” was dark, then you haven’t seen fire burn bright in the darkest movie in the Hunger Games trilogy. “Mockingjay Part 1” has to be the most exciting of all the films because it is the first time fans aren’t watching Katniss Everdeen fight for survival in the games, but rather fight for a cause so much greater than her own survival — being the Mockingjay and getting her beloved Peeta back.
Things are getting dark for Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) as she struggles and endures more violent loss and personal betrayal when she reluctantly becomes the face of the rebellion seeking to overthrow the Capitol. Finnick (Sam Claflin) finally reveals those secrets he has kept so precious. Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) was hijacked by President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) trackerjacker torture and is currently a ranging psychopath determined to destroy Katniss — that’s what we call young love. Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) is finally sober for once, and Katniss and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) are still awkward with their undetermined feelings for each other, but if you just ignore their teen angst and just focus on the things so much more meaningful like Katniss’ exploding arrows blowing up the Capitol’s drones then you won’t be disappointed. Did I mention Effie (Elizabeth Banks) is back with her sassy Capitol spunk?
Now, if you are an ultimate fan like myself and have read the books then let me tell you I was skeptical at how they would deliver the plot; however, as I watched the film unravel on the screen I was more than impressed to see how close they were to the book. The power of political symbols, and the danger of becoming one — about Katniss staying true to herself and to those she loves — was what the book was about and the film portrayed it well as best as a film can do. Lawrence made Katniss’ character deep with emotional layers and more tolerant than the Katniss in the book.
After I heard Lawrence’s character sing “The Hanging Tree” song and how powerful it was to impact other rebels, it made me want to join the rebellion. There is something about seeing your favorite book come to life that you yourself want to become a part of it. I believe that is how every fan felt as things began intensifying in the film and that the revolution we the fans have long awaited had finally arrived.
Director Francis Lawrence, returning for the two-part finale, was undaunted by the challenge of adapting the last book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy.
“Even though it may be the toughest and people view it as the bleakest,” he recently told Entertainment Weekly, “it’s the story that gives meaning to all of them.”
If you’re looking for a film to spark the revolutionary within you, then “Mockingjay Part 1” is the film to see. Because it is about time we see the girl on fire spread her wings to freedom.