REVIEW: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1’

After losing everything, heroine Katniss Everdeen once again must battle the odds in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. In the prior film, Catching Fire, Everdeen and her fellow tributes survived yet another blood bath competition run by sadistic leader President Snow. Now, they must face the ramifications of their survival.

Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss has vowed to become a symbol of rebellion and hope for the people across the districts who no longer want to live in the dystopian wasteland they must call home. While she is strong, and no doubt capable, Katniss also has demons of her own to face.

Lawrence’s acting in Mockingjay is the best it has been in the entire saga so far. She is equal parts scared, fierce and awkward, which makes her more real than anything. While her circumstances are completely different from current day, Katniss is a character that is not afraid to be vulnerable. She is accessible and a different breed of heroine: one that does not need to be stoic or consistently moving to be exciting.

For those who have not read the books, in short: many chaotic and shifting events happen in the final installment. However, the decision to split the book into two films has divided the story, and allows for only a bit of the story to unfold on screen in this film.

Still, it is a great movie illustrating political propaganda, captivity and the darker sides of war. A major character vows to protect Katniss, and their decision to do so is a consistent event throughout the film and is explored. This, and Katniss’ strategies while working with rebel forces, are the backbone of the story. It may not be an action-filled ride like its predecessors, but it explores its characters far more than ever before.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is a film with both action and heart. Learning more about Suzanne Collins’ characters and watching the careful execution of rebellious operations is just as heart-pounding as days in the arena. This installment is the most relatable and meaningful yet, with Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson giving stellar performances.