This past Tuesday I finally trekked out to see Mockingjay.
It's no secret that I absolutely despised the first book and movie of this series. I disliked the book so much I am not certain how I had the restraint to not shred it. Then I watched the movie and it included everything I didn't like about the book and none of the few things I did like.
When my friend wanted to see Catching Fire I decided to read the book first and continue on, even though I was sure I would not enjoy the rest of the series. I was wrong. I loved Catching Fire, both the book and the movie. It did not disappoint.
Mockingjay did not disappoint either. I loved it. I am glad my friend unknowingly pushed me to continue the series because it's worth suffering through the first book.
Now many people I know have been complaining that Mockingjay is slow, not enough action, and to political. Oddly, being that I read the books I think it's oddly watered down and still missing a lot of meat. I think what truly lacks in these films that makes the books worthwhile is the lack of narration.
Catching Fire ends with Katniss being air lifted out of the arena and in the book you can read her thoughts as she screams for her life thinking the capitol believes her dead. Jennifer Lawrence did an amazing job with facial expression during this air lifting scene.
Mockingjay starts off with Katniss hiding, trying to remember who she is, and being put to sleep screaming for her life. Katniss is in District 13. The movie glosses over the lifestyle in District 13 preferring to use only the gray backdrop to paint the lifestyle. It's boring, bland, and void of uniqueness. In the book, Katniss spends a long time recovering from the Games. We learn in the book that all residents of District 13 put their arm in a machine in the morning to have their daily schedule printed on it in ink. Katniss ignores her schedule and duties as a resident fully knowing she is testing the patience of her new home and government.
District 13 is a communist government with a dictator, but the movie doesn't really get into the communist aspect. The movie does an excellent job of painting President Coin as a wonderful leader and then hints at her being Hitler and isn't this much like Hitler's rise to power? When a people has been tormented they will follow a new leader blindly. Katniss is not so blind, but works with President Coin for her own benefit and those of the other tribunes.
This film has a lot of building and it ends abruptly, but at the perfect spot. I forgot about Finnick's story. I forgot about the Hijacking. I forgot a lot of the book, but I remember quite a bit as well. I remember enough to know that part 2 will absolutely break your heart.
The film ends with Annie, Johanna, and Peeta being brought to District 13. Annie and Finnick are excited to see each other. Johanna is excited to be out of the capital and Peeta is pissed to see Katniss. Johanna being happy is not something I recall. I remember her having a long recovery and wanting to die. Peeta is exactly as he was in the book, hijacked. He attacks Katniss and nearly chokes her to death. This lands him in solitary strapped to a bed. It lands her in the hospital with a neck brace and blood shot eyes. We then witness President Snow give a fantastic speech about bringing back democracy in her uniform that is the same style as Hitler.
Isn't Julianne Moore gorgeous as President Snow? She is stunning.
I am a little annoyed at the lack of attention to Katniss' recovery. Only that she was recovering, but how, with what, how long, and where? They also breeze past the fact that Prim is a Nurse in District 13. She certainly has the uniform but it's not too distinguishable. We know because she tells Katniss she is training to become a doctor. I know because I read the book.
They gloss over hunting as a part of Katniss's recovery. Gale and Katniss are granted access to hunting where they provide meat for the residents of 13. They did an excellent job showing the destruction of 12 and 'The Hanging Tree" is absolutely beautiful and haunting.
I hate the wigs they gave Jennifer Lawrence. The Mockingjay wig is fine but every shot with her hair down is awful. I know she is supposed to look horrible but the fibers on the wig do not move. It's unnatural.
SPOILERS FOR PART 2
I was disappointed to not see Katniss training as a solider, but after asking a friend and discussing it I realized she did train with Johanna and it was part of Johannas recovery.
Secondly, I question who is the better leader? Coin or Snow? Part one certainly paints a good future with Coin but is it really?
Of course there is that awful realization through these movies that the characters we come to love are going to die in Part 2. Not all of them, but quite few.