Can our beloved friend and family-oriented warrior princess, Miss Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) overthrow the Capitol, in this third deep, dark, and powerful
installment based on the novels by Suzanne Collins, ‘Mockingjay’: Part 1?
War on! Game off!
The games are finished forever, however, the threat of oppression, and the fight to survive is not. The stakes are just as high as Katniss leads Panem
through a full fledged war similar to the current wars in Gaza and Syria.
The film begins with an emotionally agitated Katniss crunched up in a dark corner crying and whispering to herself. When she is approached, she yells,
“Don’t touch me!” She awakens in a world that is unfamiliar and foreign to her, a world that she didn’t even know existed:
Enter the dark underground District, District 13!
Finnick (Sam Claflin), who lay in a hospital bed attached to IV drips, proclaims that he wants to go back for his beloved Annie (Stef Dawson), as she has been taken, while Peeta
is being held and controlled by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in The Capitol. Katniss takes the elevator down to meet with Beetee (played by Jeffrey Wright), who is
now confined to a wheelchair, Plutarch Heavensbee (the late/great Philip Seymour Hoffman) and President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore). She demands to know
if Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is still alive, questioning “You left Peeta to die?” Plutarch is convinced that Katniss is still the face of the revolution.
Peeta states that “killing is not the answer and he is calling for a ceasefire,” while the people of Panem and District 13 are in an uproar declaring
him a traitor.
Katniss finally agrees to be the public role of the ‘Mockingjay’ but only under her terms. As she takes on the role, she appears in “propos” or
propaganda videos that District 13 uses to communicate with and inspire rebels across Panem. Katniss’ every move is followed by the media savvy rebels;
Cressida (Natalie Dormer from Game of Thrones), Messalla (Evan Ross), Castor (Wes Chatham) and Pollux (Elden Henson)-Squad 451.
Some of the scenes are very grim, like the scene when Gale (played by Liam Hemsworth and who is now a dedicated soldier in the rebellion, and who still has feelings for Katniss)
leads her to a demolished District 12 graveyard full of skulls, a room of patients lying on cots being treated by nurses, massive explosions, falling
towers, and war planes targeting hospitals.
No one character (with the exception of Katniss), has an exceptionally large role in the film.
Highlights: The powerful musical score by James Newton Howard that directly follows Katniss singing the “Hanging Tree” song, which is again played in
the end credits, Lorde’s new song “Yellow Flicker Beat” also played in the end credits, the scene where Katniss is having a difficult time making a
propaganda video, while Plutarch is screaming at her, her ‘Hanging Tree’ song, and, of course, her rant, ‘Fire is catching, and if we burn, you burn