Movie Review: Mockingjay

Okay, I don’t do this often (actually I don’t think I’ve ever done it) but I felt like writing a review for Mockingjay, which I saw just yesterday. It released here on the 28th of November, and I had semester exams till 29th. So naturally, I woke up on the morning of 30th, bright-eyed with enthusiasm for the movie.

First I would like to clarify, that I didn’t re-read the book before going for the movie, but fortunately I remembered key points of the book. Sequentially, I am not entirely clear and also not on what they kept and left out the book, but it was a great movie nevertheless. I will warn now itself – there might be spoilers. It starts like the book – Katniss repeating to herself what she knows – it is quite clear she is suffering from PTSD, from being in the games as well as losing Peeta. She is now in District 13 and on her recovery, is called upon by President Coin to represent the revolution as the Mockingjay, officially. Katniss wants nothing to do with that – she is worried about Peeta and Johanna and Annie who were left behind in the Capitol and are quite possibly (read obviously) being tortured. Her partner-in-grief is Finnick, who is showing cracks in his normal suave demeanor, and keeps tying knots, just like Katniss keeps rolling around the pearl in her hand. I think it was brilliant that this was shown in the movie – the body language speaks a lot about what the characters are going through. Also, I must say – finally bringing in the Avoxes – good job!

Plutarch wants to use Katniss’ anger and suggests sending her to see the damage wrought by the Capitol. Coin is not sure she can take it – the only sign of empathy (okay, she is nice in this part, but I can’t help but resent her since I know what she will do later on) she has for the broken Katniss. Katniss sees it all and her heart is filled with rage for President Snow. Peeta’s proclamation on the TV for the rebels to step down makes her worried for his safety, even if he is ever rescued. Prim (sweet little Prim, *sniff*) suggests she can make any demands and that’s how Katniss finally steps into the role. The movie makes it quite evident that she is just a pawn, a figurehead, and that they don’t care about her feelings or emotions beyond the ones they can use. To tell the truth, I was having goosebumps half the time and tears the other thinking about all this. The scenes where she breaks down after the bombing – god, that was awful. Finnick’s reveal about his job after being the victor, and the Capitol’s depravity, as well as Snow’s ruthless nature – this movie was dark. It is meant to look into the horror of war, not rejoice in the glory of revolution, and perhaps that’s what makes it different. Seeing it from Katniss’ view, who just wanted to save her sister and Peeta, shows how things like these affect people on a personal scale. When she talks to Snow and they discuss the implications of what her decisions brought, it just brings you into a grey area. You see people dying for what they believe in, and wonder how it all can ever bring peace to those who remain. Even the final scene – when District 13 is cheering on for a job well done in rescuing the victors, while a horrified Katniss watches Peeta struggle was powerful imagery. Peeta, himself – Josh has done such a good job portraying him. Actually, all the actors were spot on in the characters and I am so very thankful for that. President Snow’s half-crazed expression while chatting with Katniss, the little girl who unties her braid when he bans any association with the Mockingjay, the silent Peacekeepers, the ‘Hanging Tree’ song interlaced with Peeta’s warning at the ‘dead man calls out for his love to flee’ – all these moments were so chilling. I think my only complaint with the movie was that I felt it too short – barely two hours were not enough for me. I can’t wait until the next year to see the second half – more like prepare myself for all the horrifying things to come.

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Mockingjay

  1. For your first review, you did quite well. Next time, I would ask you to include your opinions of some of these: the directing, the cinematography, the settings, the CGI, the plot twists, the character development, the relationships among the newer characters and the leads, the decision to make a 2-part adaptation of one volume of a book.

    Also, it is traditional in film reviews to give a rating (stars or something similar, and if different than stars, explain your designations/system) and also to make a recommendation for or against for particular audiences or age groups.

    Best to you,

    Sally

    • Thank you for your suggestions, Sally. I will keep them in mind when I review a movie next (whenever that happens). I did not include a rating on purpose, however, because I kinda made it obvious that I LOVED the movie. I will, however, improve on that too next time.

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