Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (Film Review) !!!!!!!!!!

I am not at all embarrassed to say that I had been counting down for almost 600 days for this film.
I would go as far as to say that I am completely obsessed with The Hunger Games books and films, and I was so excited for this one.
Although I would still give it 10 out of 10, Mockingjay was my least favourite book in the trilogy, so I was initially a little worried about how they would adapt it into an amazing film. I needn't have worried though; it was absolutely incredible!!

Before I even arrived at the cinema, I was buzzing with excitement, and ended up quick-stepping into the theatre saying 'We're watching Mockingjay, we're watching Mockingjay!', ignoring the weird looks I was given.

Before I start with the 'spoilery' part, I want to say that anyone who hasn't yet seen Mockingjay needs to forget their plans, drop everything, and run to the nearest cinema (don't forget your tissues!). Honestly, this film was AMAZING and you're missing out on so much!

Right, now on to the review. I warn you now, this part WILL have spoilers in, so if you haven't read Mockingjay and don't want to know what happens or I you have read the book but don't want to know how it's adapted, then in the nicest way possible, please go away!

I loved how the film started. Although it was a different start to the book, it really worked on the screen and for people who were unfamiliar with the book; it explained the situation really well. We revisit Katniss in District 13 when she's in a bad mental state and is really distressed about losing Peeta to the Capitol. She visits District 12 (where the books begins) and realises what has happened to her District.
Katniss visiting her home in District 12
This scene was really disturbing. It was one thing reading about Katniss seeing the skeletons of District 12 citizens, but when I saw the bodies on the screen, I had a hard time holding on to my dinner.

After that, Katniss goes on to accept to role of the Mockingjay and the face of the rebellion. When they realise that Katniss works best when she's thrown into live action (and after an adorable 'Hayfee' moment!!), Katniss is sent to the hospital District 8 to give hope to the injured.
I absolutely loved this part of the film. While seeing the injured wasn't pleasant, I really enjoyed the combat scenes- they were pulled off spectacularly, and Katniss' message to President Snow was really chilling.

Katniss and Gale in District 8
My absolute favourite part of the film was when they re-visited District 12 and Katniss sings 'The Hanging Tree'. This was the part I was anticipating the most- What if they ruined the song? What if Jennifer Lawrence really is a terrible singer? What if it sounds horrible? But I really cannot overrate the song. It was so good. After hearing other people's calming versions of Suzanne Collin's lyrics, it was initially difficult to adjust to the eerie tone of this version. But it really was amazing.
I noticed that the lyrics were slightly different to those in the book, particularly with the change from 'Wear a necklace of rope' to 'Wear a necklace of hope', but this didn't bother me too much, especially since Plutarch explains that it was changed as it was deemed too 'rebellious' to the Capitol. I thought the transition from Katniss singing the song in the woods to the rebels singing it while invading the Capitol was amazing. I'd never expected them to use the song in that way, but it really worked.
And I'm so confused why Jennifer Lawrence was so upset with singing in the film! Am I the only one who thinks she should go into a singing career? Her voice was incredible! I'm so glad that it was actually her who sang it, as opposed to a voice over.

Peeta's heartbreaking message to Katniss
When a message from Peeta is broadcast, indicating that District 13 will be attacked, the whole of the District is sent to an underground shelter. This part of the film is really tense, especially when Katniss is looking for Prim. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I found myself sitting the edge of the seat and crying my eyes out in anticipation. It was a really scary moment.

The rest of the film is mainly about rescuing Peeta and the other victors from the Capitol after Katniss realises that everything she does for the rebellion means further torture for Peeta.  It was really interesting to see how Gale and the team of other volunteers broke into the Capitol, and how the rescue mission actually went, but it was heartbreaking to see the devices used to torture the victors.
However, it was just as interesting to see what was going on in District 13 when the mission was in place. Finnick's story about what happened to him was a really emotional moment.
The scene when Beetee loses connection from the people on the rescue mission and Katniss steps up to talk to and distract President Snow was unexpected, yet really powerful.
I hadn't really realised the full meaning of President Snow's line of "It's the things we love most that destroy us." until this point in the film, and when I did understand the meaning I got quite hysterical!

Then came the part I was dreading. The part when the victors were finally rescued. While it was a relief to see them out of the hands of the Capitol, it was dreadful to see the conditions they were in. Especially Peeta.
We were first shown a glimpse of Johanna, fighting against the people treating her.
Then we saw Annie running towards Finnick, which was a highly emotional scene.
Katniss then saw Gale, who told her that Peeta was back.
I can't even think about what came after that without welling up, but all I'm going to say is that seeing Peeta again was such a horrible experience.
It was a really intense and emotional scene, and there were loud gasps and cries from many people in the cinema (including me!).
I had expected the film to come to a close immediately after Katniss and Peeta 'meet', but it didn't.
Instead, we were shown President Coin telling the citizens of 13 that the victors had been rescued successfully. But, what I did notice, was that he didn't inform them about what really happened with Peeta.
The final scene of Mockingjay Part 1 consisted of Katniss watching Peeta strapped to a bed, thrashing around.

If you haven't already seen this film, you really should go and see it now! I really cannot commend this high enough. It really is incredible. However, this film is disturbing. Really disturbing. There are loads of scenes with dead bodies and skeletons of dead people, along with scenes of public executions, beatings and we can see that Peeta has been tortured past the point of sanity. I would really recommend that young children don't see this film. The rating is a 12A in the UK, but I honestly think it should be higher. I know I was horrified by  few scenes.
Despite all of that, I would give this film 10 out of 10 without a doubt. It really was amazing. I'm not really sure how to compare it with the other two films in the series; it was a lot different to them. I preferred Catching Fire to the first Hunger Games film, but I think Mockingjay Part 1 is equally as incredible.

The acting in this film is incredible, but with such an amazing cast, it was expected to be great. I love how Natalie Dormer portrays Cressida, and Julianne Moore is great as Coin. And, as they always do, Jennifer, Josh and Liam did an amazing job! I think the CGI team also deserve a huge round of applause for their work on this film. While the transformation we see Peeta go on is devastating, it's really realistic, and amazing to think that it was all done with CGI.

Also, I really love the soundtrack to this film. I was initially a little worried about Lorde curating the soundtrack album, but it seems I have been worrying pointlessly. A lot of the songs weren't my taste, but they really did symbolise Mockingjay. I love both of Lorde's songs, and while it's a little different, I really like 'Kingdom' by Charli XCX and Simon Le Bon. It's a great soundtrack for a great film.

 I can't wait to see Mockingjay Part 1 again!!
Only 363 days until Part 2!! Not too long!

On that exciting note, goodbye!
Charlotte xxx

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