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Mockingjay Part One: A quiet beginning to the finale of the Hunger Games

By Lauren Caspersen

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Image courtesy of Lionsgate

Image courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment

After a year’s wait, the first part of the highly anticipated “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” was released. The film came out on Nov. 21 and received $612 million in box office profits from around the world. The movie follows the battle between the rebels and the Capitol, and the loss that always accompanies war.

Though the filmmakers have been heavily criticized for breaking the movie into two parts, drawing it out and making it less exciting, I have to disagree. I feel that screenwriters Danny Strong and Peter Craig created a movie that was not only well-thought-out, but also well-executed. Condensing the movies into one film would only have succeeded in lessening the final installment’s impact.

“Mockingjay” has a quiet and rather melancholic air to it, though on occasion the movie features explosive scenes of enemy planes being blown to bits – and other such catastrophes.

These scenes can be expected from all Hollywood film adaptations, but for once they didn’t actually detract from the plot. The recurring themes of courage, sacrifice and friendship still managed to remain present throughout the film.

Director Francis Lawrence started production with the desire to keep the film true to the book, though in interviews he has admitted that certain things were unavoidably altered in the crossover.

The movie opens with the main protagonist Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, holed up in a corner of a dimly lit room, panicking quietly, reeling from traumatic memories of her time in the Games. Within seconds she’s dragged out into what appears to be a  hospital room, presumably in District 13. Throughout the movie the audience is able to see how Katniss is forced to overcome her memories in order to become a more present leader.

Katniss is stricken by the loss of her “dearly beloved” Peeta, but emerges from emotional struggle stronger than ever before so as to help with his recovery. In order to do so, she agrees to become the Mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol’s reign.

Though the movie does stray from certain parts of the novel, it does stay mostly true to the original work. The movie follows Katniss, along with her allies Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and President Coin (Julianne Moore). It also focuses on the villainous President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the conflict that rages within Panem.

Having two movies allowed the characters to further be developed. Jennifer Lawrence was granted the chance to further embody a character that was still reeling from not only the loss of a friend, but the loss of the city where she grew up: District 12.

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
Mockingjay Part One: A quiet beginning to the finale of the Hunger Games