You know why I believe God exists?
Because it’s because of him we have balance on Earth.
For every Rahul Gandhi, we have a Narendra Modi.
For every Honey Singh, we have an Arijit Singh.
For every Sajid Khan and Akshay Kumar, we have a Dibakar Banerjee and an Irfan Khan.
And for every Twilight, we have a Hunger Games.
I have been a massive Hunger Games fan. The way the author Suzanne Collins created a parable universe where getting exploited is a right for the young adult audience is a massive achievement. She gave us a kickass character in Katniss Everdeen, and never shied away from upping the ante with every book as far as gore is concerned. The movies have been excellent companion pieces to the books, getting the milieu bang on, and the casting pitch perfect. Plus they have the second queen of the internet after Emma Watson, i.e. Jennifer Lawrence as the protagonist. No wonder every Hunger Games adaptation is waited with bated breath. Mockingjay Part 1 is no exception.
After the 25th Hunger Games end in a mutiny, rebels have gone underground in the secret bunker set up in District 13 long ago. While the entire machinery is well oiled and ready to attack the Capitol, the most important cog of the rebellion is facing a bit of a fatigue. Katniss, who instilled in the people of Panem the will to fight, lost her fighting spirit when Peeta is taken captive. Evil President Snow, knowing her too well, is using Peeta as a weapon against her now. Yet, the war is more important than a single individual. Katniss, level-headed as always, agrees to take up the role of the Mockingjay, if her demands are met by the President of District 13, and effectively the leader of the rebellion, President Coin.
Now the one thing that I have always admired about the Hunger Games is the performances. Jennifer Lawrence once again steals the show as Katniss, bringing a lot of pain to her performance. Watch out for the time when she croons Hanging Tree, and tell me if you didn’t get goosebumps. The other solid performance comes from Julianne Moore as President Coin, as mysterious as she is in the book. A special mention the Late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who rises above the underwritten role and again reminds us from the grave what the world of movies has lost.
All the technical departments are good too, be it the cinematography, or the music, or editing, or production design, or special effects.
And despite the movie scoring in every department, what ultimately hurts the movie the most is the completely idiotic decision taken by the suits at Lionsgate to divide the riveting book into two movies. So, we have added scenes about the happenings in various districts, which while are brilliant individually, don’t really add to the book, and makes the grave mistake of shifting the point of view from Katniss haphazardly. Also, a lot of precious time is wasted on re-establishing well-known characters. It almost feels like the director thought, “Oh, so we still have to make a 130 minute movie from 130 pages of a book, let’s just add a lot of lingering shots and random conversations between various characters. But yes, let’s try to make those awesome so that the audience doesn’t realize that the suits are basically Scrooge McDuck without the nephews.”
Ultimately, this harms the movie, which never feels as taut as it could have had the entire third book had been made into one 150 minute long movie.
They should really just rename themselves Loinsgate for being such a d*ck.
Overall Rating – 3/5