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Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part One Film Review

I really enjoyed seeing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part One today. The film centers on Katniss' PTSD post-Games and her trying to hold on to her sanity as she is caught in the middle of the war between the Capitol and the rebels. It is also about the rebels trying to save and protect their people using propaganda the way the Capitol would use propaganda, and having selfish interests at heart even while being the "good guys." They put Katniss as the "Mockingjay" and hold up her as a symbol to further their cause, but likely would be just as satisfied if she died, a martyr for their cause.

The film was very bleak, but I thought it fit the mood of the story very well, with a lot of gray and blue tones, and focusing on other districts and their battles besides Katniss as the narrator.

Acting-wise, everyone did well. The usual cast members put in good to decent performances. Jennifer Lawrence did well in playing a damaged teenager with no real power trying to hold onto her interpersonal relationships because it was the only control she had (Prim, Peeta, Johanna) while being in a war she didn't want to be a part of. Elizabeth Banks did really well as Effie, balancing her character between being a citizen used to her Capitol luxuries and being a sympathetic person towards Katniss and the rebels' cause. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch was on the "good" side, but marketing Katniss' pain to the masses. Still, I miss Hoffman because of his voice and warmth that he brought to his roles. And Julianne Moore as Alma Coin was icy and cold and brittle, but was an interesting character in using Katniss to further the rebels' cause and possibly becoming another President Snow in the future.

I know Rambo gets made fun of as an 80's action movie, but this final scene where Rambo has a breakdown about his traumas from the Vietnam war and living with the memories for 15 years was very powerful and moving. I was reminded of it sometimes during the movie with Katniss dealing with her PTSD while being used as a symbol for the rebels' cause and being put in fake-looking propaganda videos. The speech begins at 2:30.

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