The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One
The Hunger Games trilogy has been the perfect example of a series that transcends its target young adult audience, with its dark themes and exploration of humanity. The films have proven to be equally adept at bringing their ideas to life, both for those who are fans of the novels and as stand-alone experiences.
This film involves less action than its prequels do, but that is not to say that it is dull; it is visually striking in its interpretation of the desolate, dystopian world in which the story is set. Director Francis Lawrence creates great juxtapositions between bare, uniformed worlds and beauty in simple moments in nature. This is where the ability to realise the novel on film is best appreciated, with the intricacies of the world handled with great care and attention to detail.
The cast is stellar, with a strong performance from Julianne Moore as rebellion leader President Alma Coin, bringing to the role a sensitive gravitas. The younger cast each hold their own against this backdrop. They seem to have grown comfortable in their characters, and it feels as though their real lives and careers reflect the maturing of their onscreen counterparts.
We see much more of Liam Helmsworth’s Gale Hawthorne in this film, and he performs well as the support system for Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen – and indeed, as support for the progression of the film. Mockingjay also pays a subtle homage to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in his depiction of the wise and humble Plutarch Heavensbee.
The soundtrack is curated by Lorde and, despite her youth, shows great musical understanding in the choices she has included. In fact, it might be said that her proximity in age to the characters and the target audience gives her greater insight into the appropriate music to accompany the film. Artists range from Sia to Santigold and Patti Smith, all bringing their individual styles to help create a cohesive atmosphere.
Though splitting the final novel into two films may seem a cynical marketing ploy designed to augment the franchise’s revenue, in fact it actually gives the Mockingjay the opportunity to delve deeper into some aspects of the story than a single feature might have allowed.
A stunning adaptation that brings to life the beginning of an emotionally charged finale to The Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One is released nationwide on 20th November 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One here: