763. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

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8.7 A darker political thriller
  • Acting 8.7
  • Directing 8.7
  • Story 8.8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Director: Francis Lawrence

Running Time: 123 mins


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is an American film and the third and penultimate installment in the Hunger Games franchise. After Katniss destroys the games, she is taken to District 13, and reluctantly becomes the face of the people’s revolution against the Capitol, who have captured Peeta.

Well, this is just another fantastic addition to a saga that I am fast falling in love with. As I’ve said before, I’ve not read the books, and apparently this film goes a bit far away from the original story, but I really don’t care, because this is just a really impressive and fascinating installment in a brilliant franchise.

This is by far the darkest, most gritty film of the three so far, focussing a lot more on the politics of revolution, rather than the action that we saw in the first two films. It’s not as fast-paced, and not as much happens (seeing as this is a two-parter), but to me, it fantastically builds on what the first films have set out.

The main thing that I think sets this apart from the first two is that it’s pretty much all political. Of course, there are a few action scenes throughout, but the main focus is around the themes of revolution and propaganda, which I found absolutely fascinating.

It’s quite clear now to see the development of this overall story arc throughout the saga so far. The Hunger Games was just an entertaining action-based film, establishing the characters and the setting, not delving into the politics of the world, Catching Fire was a fascinating and entertaining drama, focussing both on the action as well as the themes of political repression, and this is a full-blown war film, not necessarily the most enjoyable, but a really fascinating in-depth look into some very serious and dark themes.

So, what you get from this film is a very miserable and gritty chapter in this overall story. I understand why it’s not been as well received as the first two films, because the political side to the story is so overwhelming in comparison to the action, and it is definitely more slowly-paced, requiring a whole lot more concentration in my opinion, however I think that it’s a fantastic step away from the ‘young adult’ image that this franchise is towards a very intelligent and relevant story.

One of the other most interesting things we see in this film is a whole lot of character development. As I said, the story doesn’t move forward too much in the grand scheme of things, but we see a whole lot more about Katniss and her importance within the revolution, as well as her weaknesses that make this such a tense but hugely intriguing watch.

Overall, then, this gets an 8.7, because although it’s not a particularly enjoyable installment in this saga, it’s such a dark and gritty but hugely intelligent and political chapter in this absolutely thrilling story, and I really cannot wait for Part 2…

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The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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