REVIEW: The ‘Mockingjay’ is back

Contributed Photo
‘Mockingjay’ focuses more on the interaction with people rather than action scenes.
New Hunger Games, journey continus

By Katerina Stafford
Staff Writer/Spectator

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” picks up where “Catching Fire” left off. Katniss, Finnick, Beetee, Gale and the survivors of District 12 find a new home in the believed to be destroyed District 13.

With Peeta having been left behind in “The Arena” and her home destroyed, Katniss had no desire to be the face of the rebellion.

She blamed those who saved her from the games for not rescuing Peeta. To Katniss, Peeta was supposed to be saved, because he could have persuaded the other districts to join in the fight against the capitol.

Her spirit is broken and she feels hopeless. Her desolation is mimicked by the state of her surroundings.

This was seen when she went to District 12. Katniss’ home has been destroyed and turned to rubble. Buildings have been decimated and the bones of those who didn’t make it out of District 12 were in a mass grave. The sad state of her home only amplifies her hopelessness.

District 13 had very little color in it; grey was very prominent, which could focus the viewer’s attention on Katniss’ sadness. What made Katniss take the role of the mockingjay was her sister’s faith in her ability to unite and lead the rebels.

When she goes to District 8, Katniss visits a makeshift hospital filled with the wounded victims and children.

She saw that they still believed in her despite that their home was being destroyed and that they were injured. Their belief in her gives Katniss the strength to continue on as the mockingjay.

Compared to the previous two “Hunger Games” films, “Mockingjay” does not have much action.

Instead of fighting, there are speeches being made to either rouse the people to fight against President Snow or to stand down from the fight.

The action scenes were few and very short. There were a few explosions and some guns fired, but none of the gladiator-style fighting that was seen in the past “Hunger Games.” The film seemed to focus more on how to win people over by using propaganda.

In order to inspire the citizens of Panem to fight for them, Plutarch and Alma Coin, the president of District 13, try to have Katniss do scripted, inspirational speeches that could be put on the air.

The first time they try this, it doesn’t work. Haymitch pointed out that she inspires people best when she’s not being told what to say or what to do.

The setting of District 8 in shambles and the people in the hospital, beaten and bloody, was one such scene where Katniss was filmed being herself.

Another setting is when she and her film crew are by a river near District 12.

They film her singing a song which later inspires a district to destroy a dam.

According to boxofficemojo.com, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” made approximately $55 million on Friday Nov. 21.

It did not do as well as “Catching Fire,” which made $71 million on its first day in 2013.

Nor did it do as well as the first “Hunger Games” film, which made $67.3 million in 2012.     

Katerina Stafford is the staff writer for the Spectator. She can be reached by arts.spectator@gmail.com