Adaptations

My Take: “Mockingjay, Part 1”

I saw “Mockingjay, Part 1” yesterday, and oh my god I can’t even…

It was so good. It was everything I could have hoped for. Let me break it down for you. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Wardrobe and Make-up

All of this was superbly done. The jumpsuits and the hospital gowns and the doctors uniforms were perfection. They managed to just directly copy what was in the book while adding little touches here and there to fit each character. My favorite was Effie’s costume. Effie wasn’t in District 13 in the book, but the movie plopped her in, which was a smart move in my opinion. Sure, Effie didn’t have a glamorous and over the top Capitol costume but she made the District 13 jumpsuit work. She turned it into a fucking chic cape and her headscarf was brilliantly tied to look flawless. Katniss’ mockingjay costume was perfection. It was better than what I could have ever imagined. She looked gorgeous, strong, and battle ready. Come to think of it, all of Katniss’ propo team looked great. Cressida’s tattoo was flawless. It was exactly what I had pictured when I read the books. The make up used to make Peeta, Johanna, and Annie look like they’ve been through hell was well done. Peeta looked like someone who had been beaten and tortured and starved. His face looked thinner and the bruises were perfect. My main problem was that President Coin kind of looked like she had pink-eye for a good chunk of the movie. It probably wasn’t intentional, but she looked odd.

Setting

The sets were impressive, especially District 13. It was so industrial and efficient. I would have expected nothing less. The ruins of District 12 were more dramatic and honestly terrifying than I had imagined when I read the book. The amount of dead bodies was borderline gruesome. The District 8 hospital was what I had imagined, a large warehouse with thousands of injured and dead people in very tight quarters. And the scene with all the roses after the bombing of District 13 was so well done. They could have done a few scattered roses here and there or just a bouquet but no it was a fucking meadow of roses. Excellent. I have no other words.

Acting

Do I really have to go over this? We all know it was brilliant as usual. Jennifer Lawrence played Katniss really well. We saw a bit of Katniss’ PTSD in Catching Fire but Mockingjay is where we truly see what the Games have done to her psychologically. Lawrence played the part beautifully. She was always on the edge and a little unhinged at points. She was angry and scared. There was just so much emotion coming from her, and I believed every single second of it. Another stand out was Natalie Dormer as Cressida. To be honest, I’ve only seen Dormer in Game of Thrones so I wasn’t sure what to expect from her. She was amazing. She had the right amount of attitude and defiance with all the control a director should have. Dormer surprised me, although I should have expected a brilliant performance from her anyway. Josh Hutcherson was also spectacular. Peeta is normally this calm and collected character. He’s a source of peace. In Mockingjay, we see a whole other side of him. Peeta is deteriorating mentally from the torture at the Capitol. In the little interview portions, Hutcherson manages to show a huge change in Peeta that has nothing to do with the make up. He twitches and shakes, and his eyes are a little dazed and distracted. He has a bit of a crazed look. He can’t focus. It’s brilliant. And the scene where Peeta strangles Katniss is just amazing from an acting point of view. Hutcherson is manic and wild and difficult to control. It’s so different from the Peeta we’ve all come to know and love. Just A+ acting. I could talk about it forever.

Editing

The editing was excellent, for the most part. There were a few scenes where I would have liked to quicken the pace and there were scenes that needed to be slowed down. I’m a little picky when it comes to the pacing of movies. But overall, it was fantastic editing. It made sense considering the importance of certain scenes to the overall plot. Some have been complaining about the end of the movie. Saying the last five minutes were unnecessary and that they should have ended it after Peeta and Katniss blacked out after the strangling debacle. I think they’re wrong. Though it would have been the ultimate cliffhanger and left me gasping and screaming at the screen, I think the last five minutes were important. I think we needed to know why Peeta attacked Katniss. It’s too important to just leave hanging for a year or so. And the final shot with Coin’s voice over was still impressive and frightening and left many with so many questions. As I saw Peeta writhing and squirming and pulling and kicking and buckling against his restraints and the look sadness and fear and anger in Katniss’ eyes, I couldn’t help asking myself, “Is Peeta going to recover? How will Katniss deal with this? Will she continue being the Mockingjay? Will Peeta love Katniss again? Will he at least be sane and not a mutt?” I read the book so I know the answers to all of these questions but the ending still struck me. It was, in my opinion, more powerful than ending it after the attempted strangulation, which was more shocking than emotionally powerful.

That’s it for my review, lovelies. Sorry it’s so long, but I had to organize my thoughts somehow, and I’m kind of a rambler if you can’t already tell. I give “Mockingjay, Part 1” 5 out of 5 stars. Now let’s fangirl and sob while we wait another year for Part 2.

Advertisements