Welcome to another edition of Movie Review Monday!
This week's film is the 2014 blockbuster, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, starring Jennifer Lawrence and a stellar ensemble cast.
In anticipation of the final chapter of this film series coming out in a few weeks, I wanted to look back and review the most recent release (read my Catching Fire review too!) to get myself mentally prepared.
We pick up this movie right after Catching Fire and the plot focuses on Katniss (Lawrence) being strongly pushed into being the symbol for a growing revolution against the Capital. She has her reservations, partially being about not knowing how to be a rebel leader, and also not wanting to get the people she cares about (or anyone else for that matter) hurt or killed on her behalf. We see Katniss begin to warm to the idea as she realizes the true reach of the Capital's carnage.
We also see Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) become a weapon of the Capital's propoganda and he serves as their sort of antithesis to Katniss. An interesting part to this movie (since it is mostly slow moving) is the gradual tension, anticipation, and building up towards something more, as well as how much the importance of symbols is explored. People need something (or someone) to believe in, and a lot of times the images we use are very carefully crafted versus being genuine moments, and both sides in this story utilize artificial symbols to achieve their ends, further deepening the shades of grey for each.
While this movie isn't the best of the series, it is a solid movie which definitely is comparable to Deathly Hallows Part I in that it allows for some breathing room and plot development where if this was just one movie, it would feel rushed and/or shallow.
Make sure to catch up on the full story since you can find the other Hunger Games movies available to stream on Hulu and Amazon Prime right now (the original movie isn't on either service at the moment but you could just rent it from any video-on-demand provider). They're all great and it is a solid sci-fi universe to explore. I've only watched the movies and I enjoy it a lot.
Definitely check back here on the blog to get my thoughts on the final chapter, Mockingjay Part II, when it comes out in theaters on November 20.