Movie of the Week: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay pt1

The wait is over: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay part 1 has finally arrived. This is a movie very different from its two predecessors, Katniss is a shell of the young woman she once was, she’s a survivor suffering from PTSD, in a strange place and being expected to be much more than she’s able to at the moment.

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I read the book, so I was expecting little action a lot of emotions and I got that, with a bit more action than I thought. This is about politics and the consequences of a rebellion and a war – countless loss, doubt and uncertainty. Katniss struggles at every step to make the right decision that will keep those she loves alive, knowing that she will probably fail someone along the way and not knowing how to live with it.

Granted, the “stillness” of this first movie will make a lot more sense a year from now, when the second part comes out, because the next movie is all about the repercussions of the actions of Katniss, President Coin and President Snow.

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It’s a marvelous adaptation, there’re very few differences from book to screen. The biggest one being the presence of Effie in District 13, but can we really complain about it? No, not really! In the book the prep team, Flavius, Venia and Octavia are at D13 and they are the ones who make Katniss camera ready. But visually it makes a lot more sense to have a heavy weight such as Elizabeth Banks (and fan favourite Effie) on screen. So out goes the prep team and in comes lovely Effie, in all her gray glory – she owns every single second she’s on screen.

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Other “difference” is that given that the book is from Katniss POV, in the movie we get to see what’s going on in the other Districts as well as in the Capitol. Peeta’s deterioration throughout the movie (and Katniss’s along with his) are so well done, I found myself in tears each time Peeta was on screen…

Every single actor in the movie is brilliant – when you have a movie that has to work based on emotions shown rather than action, and with such a big cast, it could be tricky, but they hold up (Prim, maybe not so much). Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as always, the range of emotions that this girl is able to convey is tremendous. And how cool is the hair and makeup department on this movie?! They actually made them look bland, and made Katniss actually look 17!!!

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Josh Hutcherson really surprised me in this movie… just wait for the last 10 minutes to get what I’m saying. Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch will always be my favourite, and did I catch a little flirting between Haymitch and Effie?! Maybe it would be a cool thing to change from the book… just saying…

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore are perfect in their roles as Plutarch and Coin, lovely touch to dedicate the movie to Hoffman.

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I absolutely loved the filming crew. I loved them since the moment I read the book and Natalie Dormer just made Cressida come alive in a way only she could. But let’s not forget her 3 boys: Even Ross as Messalla, Elden Henson as Pollux that even though he doesn’t talk, he says a lot, and Wes Chatham as Castor.

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