Urban Cinefile
"Someday I'd be a famous director. Someday I'd be rich. Someday I'd have the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger. . . "  -Mark Illsley, director of Happy, Texas on his 'someday' syndrome
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet  

Search SEARCH FOR A REVIEW
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

HUNGER GAMES, THE: MOCKINGJAY PART 1

SYNOPSIS: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage.

Review by Louise Keller:
Capitalising on the Jennifer Lawrence factor, Part 1 of the final Hunger Games trilogy will please the fans, although there is too much padding around the key thrilling sequence; the film would have been more complete had the two parts of the split finale been merged. Economics no doubt drove the filmmakers in their decision to stretch things out, but like Twilight and Harry Potter, there is a limit to what dramatic impact can be achieved. To the screenwriters' credit, in their adaptation of Suzanne Collins' novel, they have succeeded by leave audiences with a tantalizing cliffhanger ending, although it is a bit of a tease, when there is a long wait before Part 2 hits the screens.

After the colour and drama of the first two films, the first half hour of this third is just plain dull as it slowly establishes the new reality of District 13, where Katniss (Lawrence) has been brought following the events of 'Catching Fire'. The setting is drab and grey as we become involved in the movement for change led by the forceful President Coin (Julianne Moore with bad hair) and masterminded by Philip Seymour Hoffman's wonderfully named and well executed Plutarch Heavensbee. Hoffman has always been such a charismatic force onscreen. Things hot up when Katniss agrees to become the face of the cause - or the Mockingjay, 'the best dressed rebel in history' - as she fronts a high profile propaganda campaign for the fight against the Capitol.

Plot elements include Katniss' loyalty and stated affection for Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), her relationship with the handsome Gale (Liam Hemsworth) who is still dwelling on their first kiss and her ongoing concern for her young sister Primrose (Willow Shields). Donald Sutherland as the Capitol's totalitarian President Snow continues to be formidable in the role as he instills fear in the residents of the Panem districts, and counters Lawrence's heroic portrayal beautifully. The scene when Snow orders the execution of rebels is chilling and is a tragic reflection of the state of the world today.

With Peeta being used as propaganda for the Capitol and Katniss representing the rebels, there is an interesting juxtaposition of conflicting interests. The covert rescue mission is the film's highlight: filled with tension and anticipation and exacerbated by the fact that Katniss and the other members of the resistance are watching events as they take place on large video screens. 'It's the things we love most that destroy us,' says President Snow, which is an interesting note on which to ponder as Part 1 comes to a dramatic conclusion. To be continued, as the box office's cash-registers jangle.

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 (M)
(US, 2014

CAST: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Pilip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci

PRODUCER: Nina Jacobson, Jon Kilik

DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence

SCRIPT: Peter Craig, Danny Strong (novel by Suzanne Collins)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jo Willems

EDITOR: Alan Edward Bell, Mark Yoshikawa

MUSIC: James Newton Howard

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Philip Messina

RUNNING TIME: 123 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 20, 2014







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017