Film Review: The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

The Hunger Games – Mockingjay – Part 1 picks up from the action of its predecessor The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The film has some tense moments, although it suffers slightly in being the instalment before the finale.

After shattering the Hunger Games, Katniss is asked to become the face of the movement against the Capitol. As she fights to save a nation, she also worries for the fate of the separated Peeta…

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 shifts the form of the previous two films. There are no games in this instalment; with action instead progressing to the burgeoning revolution. The latest film does miss this centre spectacle, as action has less of the intensity of the previous chapters.

Mockingjay – Part 1 swaps the focal point of the games for political posturing and a cat and mouse set up. The emphasis on presentation and promotion is the most interesting tact. Director Francis Lawrence’s film draws parallels with real politics in depicting how the opposing sides attempt to sell themselves. Viewers are posited with Katniss, as she struggles to remain the public face of the movement despite disruption in her private sphere.

The previous instalments of The Hunger Games have prided themselves on their depiction of a dystopian world, and this film is no different. Any veiled intentions in previous chapters are writ large here, with the true nature of what Katniss is up against being exhibited clearly. The film is darker in both its aesthetics and its tone, with a shift from survival to war and strategy.

Action sequences in the film work well. The film does lack a strong climax, as is often the case with pre-finale instalments. Art direction offers a decaying look which suits the film’s tone. Julianne Moore is a good addition to the cast. Jennifer Lawrence is as impassioned as ever, while Elizabeth Banks gets to show more range.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 does what it is supposed to in progressing the plot and setting up for a finale. The final part of this film series should be blistering.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is released on DVD and Blu-Ray from 16th March 2015.