Movie Review: Mockingjay Part One

If you haven’t read the books, beware that this post *contains spoilers*!

mockingjayAs with any book to movie adaptation, there are bound to be changes, including missing pieces, and a general lack of explanation. With this movie especially I felt that anyone who hadn’t read the books was going to be a little lost.

For example, what the hell is District 13? How long has that been there? How did they get there? Not to mention the opening scene of Katniss in the dark. I mean, we all knew that she was a little cray cray after the mission failed to save her AND Peeta but it was not a great first scene. And her saying “tell me what’s real” without explaining why that is important kind of failed to make her seem as broken as she was in the books. Which makes her even stronger when she finally deals with her grief and frustration and PTSD and channels it into something powerful.

Then there is the relationship with Finnick, that was basically missing. Them helping each other dealing with the pain and stress spoke volumes on the pages and on screen fell a little flat. And while President Coin was well cast, the relationship with Katniss was far less volatile in the movie than in the book. There is a lot more running and hiding and avoiding and anger. Coin is seen as just as bad as Snow to Katniss.

Not to mention that Katniss didn’t even ask to kill Snow which was a huge deal in the book. Although the issues with being the Mockingjay and not being able to “act” for the propos was pretty dead on. And the tension between her and Gale was also rather downplayed. Oh, and Effie was alive.Book-film iceberg metaphor

And can I just say for the record that I hated the ending? It would have been so much more powerful if they had ended when Peeta was trying to kill Katniss, the world would have lost its mind.

But there was a lot of good as well. I definitely had some teary-eyed moments, including her visits to Districts 12 and 8 and seeing Peeta alive on screen. The casting was dead on once again and I enjoyed the new to screen and old favorite characters. I liked seeing the various unrest and civil warfare happening in the Districts, it made everything seem a bit more real and impactful. The action scenes were well done and it was an overall powerful movie but watching it from the front row made me look at all the little things that were wrong.

I’d give it 3 stars in comparison to the book, maybe 4 as a movie. It’s worth seeing if you’ve watched the others but I felt this one deviated strongly from the plot and was more Hollywood than it should have been.

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