The Hunger Games story, one built on hope and survival in a world torn apart by war, and separated into districts in order to control the peace, is colorful, yet tragic. The story began a few years ago with the release of the first movie “The Hunger Games” starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a young girl trying to survive with her mother and younger sister in a brutal totalitarian world dominated by President Snow, who rules with an iron fist from “The Capital”. As a way of controlling the peace in every district, they hold annual games called “Hunger Games” where young kids are randomly chosen by lottery, to compete in a life and death fight for survival. To win, you must survive the games, and there can only be 1 winner.
The story continues with the latest 2-part, and 3rd installment in the series “Mockingjay Pt1” where Katniss has been rescued from the 75th Quarter Quell. Katniss allies with the other tributes that were saved, rebels from Districts 1-11, and District 13 ( a district that everyone believed has been long since destroyed) lead by President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) in order to overthrow President Snow (Donald Sutherland).
This movie, while not based on the build up and actual competing in the games, has a slow and dark build up to the conclusion of the story, where the rebellion is trying to build up momentum and the ability to truly fight the capital by using Katniss to empower the rest of the Districts. Katniss’ main goal is not to rile the rest of the Districts but to rescue Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and the other tributes taken by President Snow. Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) took the lead on rescuing all the tributes and continues to try to win Katniss’ affection. There were some scenes that were quite disturbing, when Katniss first visits District 12 after it has been destroyed, as well when they go back to District 12 to film a ‘prop’ and Gale recalls the day District 12 was reduced to rubble.
The cinematics of the movie are quite well done, while being a dark movie, overall you can follow along easily, though I recommend you watch the previous movies otherwise you will be generally lost. All the previous cast is reunited for this movie, including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Plutarch Heavensbee, had a mediocre part at best, and didn’t really seem to have his full heart into the part.
Mockingjay Part 2 is sure to have an epic battle that will surly be very violent and ugly. Those of us that have read the book have high expectations and look forward to it.
Tali’s Score: I left the movie wanting to watch it again and am planning on going again soon. It is one of those movies where you will get something different out of it every time as there is just so much going on. I recommend re-reading the novel before you go or at the very least just afterwards. My daughter and I were on the edge of our seats almost the whole movie. I listened to the soundtrack prior to going and was slightly confused as to why it was so upbeat but I felt it fit very well. I wish they put Hanging Tree on the soundtrack as I found myself singing it as we were leaving the theater. Overall, I would rate this movie a 4.5 out of 5. I would recommend these movies and books to any avid reader, whether adult or teenager, girl or boy, it is an all around gripping series.
David’s Score: Overall I felt the movie was very good, it felt incomplete, which is to be expected given that it is a 2-part movie. I did feel that it was really slow in a lot of parts, and there were some very nonsense parts of the movie where Katniss’ sister would have a useless line or something, and it just didn’t seem to fit into the plot. In the end, I’d have to rate this movie 4 out of 5. I’m looking forward to the next part of this movie, and the conclusion of the series.
NOTE* Tali has read and seen all the movies while David has only seen the movies. We thought it would be a nice change to get perspective from both sides.