The Mockingjay – Part 1 – Movie Review – The Good, the Bad, and all the Missing Stuff

I’ve been following this book series long before the movies, and when I realized that they were going to be on the big screen, I was overjoyed. Of course, my joy was tempered by my caution. Many is the novel that was literally raped by the movie industry, its lifeless carcass left to rot miserably in some musty ditch.

Oh yes, if you haven’t realized it yet – I’m what I call a ‘NOVEL PURITAN’, that is, if the movie is different from the novel, I start suffering from stomach acid, and have to spew it forth everywhere.

So, here goes – The lights when dark and the movie began. Katniss, confused and semi-feverish, huddles in a corner muttering to herself about Peeta. Check. Then suddenly we are in the Command Room playing tacticians??? Where are the months when she was delusional and half-crazy with grief and terror? Where is the detailed depiction of life in District 13?! We are not even told what their major industry was, how come they have all those weapons (prominently displayed at one point), how they have survived or what they have been doing? The importance of the influx of ‘new people’ is not even mentioned, nor is the rationing of the food or the boringness and sameness of their almost zombie-like life! Something which will be very important in Part 2… ok no spoilers. Maybe they are going to explain all this in the second part of the movie? Still, the enormous chunk of important info missing right at the beginning just dizzied me.

And what about the training Katniss and Gale had to go through BEFORE even being considered as part of a Mission? What about Katniss’s attitude and hatred towards Haymitch for having betrayed her trust and Peeta? Skip, skip, skip right? All we have are shots and CLOSE UPS of Jennifer Lawrence without make-up (YEAH RIGHT) and with loose hair. Did they receive audience complaints against the braid or what?

the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1-teaser-106782And where are Katniss’ friends and prep team? There should be 3 ppl there, not just Effie! A woman who did her make up and her hairdresser as well! But they just dont exist in the movie!! We are just given Hobo-Effie who tries to complain about the hardships in 13 and only manages to say that she misses her wigs!!

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Up comes a stretched version of the real Cressida (i.e as compared to how she’s portrayed in the novel) who is given much more importance than she actually had, just to let us admire Natalie Dormer’s shaved head and pursed lips again and again.

Criticisms apart, even though you may think I hated the movie, I actually loved it. The portrayals of the rebellion were amazing, the CGI was great, and the scene in the bunker when all the bombs are falling and the people are terrified, is quite realistic and put me in mind of the second world war. I’ve been in an underground hospital of the time, and it was really similar. The scene were they bomb the dam in District 8 is magnificent. And what about the portrayal of President Snow by much acclaimed star Donald Sutherland? Wow, he literally could make my hate and admiration at his poise increase just with one twitch of his well-tended eyebrows! What about Julienne Moore as conniving and cold, yet oh so suave president of District 13? What a performance!!

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Even Peeta’s transformation into raving lunatic at the end was shocking and painful – well done Josh Hutcherson.

The only one who stayed emotionless as though frozen in syrupy depression was Jennifer Lawrence. Yes, she’s pretty and has nice lips and hair, but throughout the movie all she does is stare around with a half open mouth and the same expression for three solid hours!! Really?! You moan so much about Peeta and yet your face remains so smooth and lifeless? Even when you are crying? Why don’t you bawl, sniffle and become red in the face like all people who are REALLY depressed, sad and terrified about loosing a loved one do? Did the director tell you to do that or are you another expressionless ninny like Kristen Stewart? GODS NO! We dont need any more of those around for sure! And while the ‘numb’ part may fall in with the novel’s description of Katniss’ condition, she was only like that at first, and didnt continue being a faceless zombie-doll all through the novel!!

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*sigh*

And yet, I still loved the movie. Weird ain’t I? Maybe my imagination rose in to fill the gaps or give new life to the emotionless hero. Who knows? Anyway, I will continue saying what I always say ‘THE BOOK IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE, BETTER THAN THE MOVIE’.

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