By MARCELLA DECOUD
On November 21, the first part of the movie Mockingjay, an adaptation of the last book of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, hit movie theaters worldwide. Mockingjay was directed by Francis Lawrence and, like the last installments of many popular series, divided into two halves to better cover the details of the lengthy novel.
The movie takes place after Katniss Everdeen was rescued from the events of the previous movie, Catching Fire. Upon learning that her home of District 12 has been annihilated by the Capitol, Katniss decides to lead the rebellion with District 13 and overthrow President Snow in order to save her love interest and friend Peeta, who the Capitol has captured and tortured.
People worldwide looked forward to Mockingjay after enjoying its prequels, Catching Fire and The Hunger Games, which were released over the past two years. Although I had high expectations for Mockingjay, the movie could not compare to the first two films. The movie felt anticlimactic because the movie covered the dry details of the book rather than the ending’s climactic events. While the movie does a decent job of building tension, it leaves the audience wishing for the action-packed scenes that made its prequels entertaining to watch. I believe Mockingjay could have been better if the producers made only one movie, rather than separating it into two parts.
Despite its disappointing content, Mockingjay’s actors and actresses did not disappoint with their wonderful acting styles. Jennifer Lawrence did a magnificent job of displaying leadership throughout the whole movie as protagonist Katniss Everdeen. It was a pleasant surprise to hear Lawrence’s beautiful rendition of the song “Hanging Tree,” wonderfully capturing Katniss’s emotion demonstrated in the novel. Katniss’s father used to sing this song to her, and she remembers how this song would make her parents argue. The song is about a criminal who was hanged, and he calls out to his significant other to come join him in death. Paul Lee (So.) said of the song, “It was so beautiful and eerie, and as soon as [Lawrence] sang it, I knew I had to download it.” The visual effects and music added to the plot beautifully, making an otherwise bland adaptation of the plot more interesting.
Though Mockingjay was not as impressive as its prequels, I still have high expectations for Part Two of the movie, and hope that it will be captivating since it will cover the more entertaining and climactic scenes of the second half of the novel. Ken Wong (Fr.) said, “I didn’t really like this first part of the movie, but I can’t wait to see how Part Two comes out. It’ll be awesome.” Mockingjay Part Two will premier on on November 20, 2015.