Spoiler-Free Reviews

Mockingjay Part 1 Spoiler-free Review


I told myself I was going to watch Interstellar this past weekend. I ended up watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 instead. Why? because Jennifer Lawrence, that’s why.

Anyone who knows me will know that I am an insanely huge fan of the extremely talented J-Law (as she’s affectionately known by fans around the world). But that’s not all that draws me to The Hunger Games saga.

No,I’m also a fan of dystopian narratives of revolution, hence my attraction to films like V for Vendetta and The Matrix. This is probably all the more reason to check out Interstellar too.

I digress, back to my thoughts on Mockingjay Part 1: Firstly, can I just say that I tend to watch any part one of the final installment in any movie franchise with low expectations. I think that this new categorisation of film; this start-of-the-end film has become a sub-genre we all secretly despise. Why? Because we know we’re going to have to wait another year (sometimes longer) for the final, truly satisfying part of the story.

I was actually surprised that I wasn’t too disappointed by Mockingjay Part 1. Yes, it was a fairly good movie; not that many people out there are crapping on it. Overall the response to the film has been fairly decent since it hit the big screen.

For me, I enjoyed the micro-dynamics of the film in the sense that each scene was interesting, each interaction between characters (while being affected by the greater story arch) was well-nuanced to reflect the present moment, and personalities and legacies of individual characters just as strongly.

What I couldn’t shake was that the whole thing felt like a different movie altogether; or maybe a different universe? I don’t know. Obviously, in the wake of the last installment, there is now an active rebellion in Panem; the Hunger Games are no more, and Katniss has gone into exile. We know all of this at the end of Catching Fire (so no, those are not spoilers), but that didn’t soften the blow of the unfamiliarity of this film. Don’t get me wrong, the story is amazing. it’s just so uncanny that it feels odd. If you’ve watched the movie, you can find a more detailed analysis of this notion on Slash Film.

Which movie are we watching again?
Which movie are we watching again?

I’ll follow up with a more detailed analysis covering this and other elements of the film over the coming weeks, so check back if you’re interested in a more elaborate discussion around the film.

Lawrence’s performance, the way the story unfolds, and some truly inspiring cast members- namely Julianne Moore, the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman, and the beautiful Natalie Dormer- all make The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 an amazing film to watch, despite it’s uncanny nature.

Rating: 7/10

About the Author: Stephen can’t decide who was more awesome in the cast of The Hunger Games; between Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Natalie Dormer, it was just too much to take in.


Editor-in-Chief at BTG Lifestyle. For cinema.


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