I’ve never read the books but I’ve been following this film series from the beginning. Every movie has left me completely engaged and feeling like I was along for the ride. After seeing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the newest of the saga, I can safely say I have never been disappointed.
The story starts out as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is having nightmares about the last moments of the games. Hugely affected by what she has been through (violence is real people), she wakes up in District 13, a military district that has been in hiding and preparing for the last 75 years to fight back against The Capital.
Jennifer Lawrence does a fabulous job in her role. We are also joined by some familiar friends that have made it through to this point of the rebellion. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, her closest friends and allies in the Games, played their parts very well and added the much needed comic relief in the film. Effie is one of my favorite characters by now. The hunky Liam Hemsworth, did a good job playing the tortured yet strong third in the ever complicated love triangle. Of course we can’t forget the late Philip Seymour Hoffman against the beautiful Julianne Moore. The ensemble are able to bring you into the story to the point that you never want to leave.
Though I wouldn’t recommend going into this without seeing the previous two films, as a stand alone film it does a good job at keeping you up to date while not wasting time rehashing the story. Old characters that have been lost are remembered and new characters make their stories known. You don’t have to be the type of moviegoer who reads into everything but if you are the symbolism and allegorical tones of the story are fascinating. The whole series has few allusions to The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and how opulence and suppression plays into it. For example, distraction is used as an aid to and form of suppression. It makes you see a lot of commentary and even a bit of irony on our own media uses.
From what I’ve heard it is very close to the book and some say even better than the book. I really liked the movie. From the moment I sat down to the post credits animation, I didn’t want it to end. Of course I didn’t appreciate the cliff hanger. The thought of having to wait a whole year until the next film is just annoying but that is also the mark of a good series. They definitely know how to leave us wanting more.