Home / Mint-lounge / Features /  Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1

The much awaited penultimate episode in the book-to-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult fiction novels sees the return of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in Mockingjay. Set in a dystopian future in the imaginary land of Panem, we have followed the teenager from District 12, who has survived the televised do-or-die Hunger Games along with her partner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) in the preceding two episodes.

In Catching Fire, during the Quarter Quell contest, Katniss defied the Capitol. Headed by Snow (Donald Sutherland), the Capitol rules the districts of Panem with a fascist hand. Now Katniss and the Mockingjay emblem are symbols of the rebellion. President of the underground District 13 Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), along with Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Effie (Elizabeth Banks) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), see the opportunity to use Katniss as a unifying symbol.

The film picks up a bit from where The Hunger Games: Catching Fire left off, and assumes the audience’s knowledge of what has transpired so far. Much like the The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013), which was also Part 1 of a two-part finale, Mockingjay too takes its time setting up the mood and milieu for the incendiary finale.

Those familiar with the book would know what to expect and may be satisfied with Part 1. However, if you have not read the book and base your expectations simply on The Hunger Games and Caching Fire, Mockingjay—Part 1 is dissatisfying.

One misses the flamboyant parades, nail-biting challenges, action scenes and drama. Instead, one sees a vulnerable and teary Katniss, still vacillating between her feelings for Gale and Peeta.

Director Francis Lawrence’s film has a strong political subtext and a slow and steady build-up. And though Part 1 ends abruptly, you know all the loose ends will be tied up in Mockingjay—Part 2, coming next year.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 released in theatres on Friday.

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