Movie Review Reviews

Reviewed: Hunger Games Mockingjay Part I

To watch or not to watch Hunger Games Mockingjay Part I?

Watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I is like having hot sabudana vada, except that it does not have, well, sabudana in it. That makes it something that is fried, has chilli and potato in it, but it is neither sabudana vada nor batata vada. Yes guys, this Hunger Games installment ain’t got no games.
The reason the first two installments of The Hunger Games franchise enthralled the audiences was because both the movies had the core proposition in place – The Games. In the previous installments all of us loved Jennifer Lawrence and her sharp shooting, some of us liked the killings and survivals and exactly 5 people cared much about Peeta Mellark, Katniss’ partner in the game. But in this movie there are no games, just one and half action sequence and a teary eyed J-Law all the way.
This third installment is the first of two parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It is devoid of any thrills and seems unnecessarily stretched. The movie does not have much to say, at least in this part, so as to deserve another part. Maybe it would have been lot more fast paced and interesting, had there been only one final movie. This first part fails to captivate and somewhere along the way, you lose interest in the proceedings. This is what happens when the filmmakers become too greedy or in other words, when they think they can get two buckets of milk out of a goat.
Katniss Everdeen has been rescued from the Capitol after she destroyed the arena during the previous film. Her home and the Sector 12 is completely destroyed and she is now at an underground rebellion post in Sector 13, wondering what happened to her partner Peeta. Simultaneously, the rebel leader, President Coin (Julianne Moore) is planning to attack the Capitol with her huge hoard of weapons. All she needs is a mascot who can muster up the collective courage of all the districts and motivate them to fight the forces of evil President Snow. Thus, Katniss is projected and propagated across Sectors as Mockingjay, the flag-bearer of the rebels. Meanwhile, Peeta is revealed to be in the captivity of the Capitol and is brutally tortured to suppress Katniss.
Jennifer Lawrence does her part well and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark shows more sparks than in the previous installments. The movie gives Liam Hemsworth (Gale, Katniss’ original love interest) 3 minutes of more footage and five more lines to speak compared to earlier installments. His character still appears half baked. Late Phillip Seymour Hoffman sleepwalks through his part as one of the rebellion leaders and it isn’t fun to watch sober Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson).
So to conclude, here’s what producers were banking on while making the movie and the reason for my recommendation –

  • If you have read the books then you’re probably going to watch this movie anyway; even if it is just to say that cliché dialogue “oh the book is so much better than the movie”
  • If you have seen the previous two installments, you are still going to see this movie out of curiosity.
  • If you are a diehard fan of Jennifer Lawrence, you ARE going to watch the movie.
  • And finally, you will see this movie if you happen to be one those 5 people who care about Peeta Mellark.