“Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
They strung up a man
They say who murdered three
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met at midnight
In the hanging tree.”
From the critically acclaimed book series by Suzanne Collins, comes the two part finale of The Hunger Games saga Mockingjay. Directed by Francis Lawrence (Catching Fire, I am Legend) and starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence as the bow and arrow wielding, Girl-on-fire Katniss Everdeen, Monkinjay Part 1 tells the story of the citizens of Panem’s uprising against their tyrannical leader President Snow (Donald Sutherland).
After the events of the 75th Hunger Games in which Katniss cuts the event short by virtually destroying the dome surrounding the battle arena, she discovers that not only were Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and the other victors taken prisoner by the capital, but her entire home was also destroyed as well. She is recruited by the President of the once rumored to be destroyed district 13, Alma Coin (Academy Award winner Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee(the late Academy Award winning Phillip Seymour Hoffman) to be the symbol (Mockingjay) of their revolution against Snow and the capital. As the rebels rally behind Katniss and The Ballad of the Hanging Tree, (definitely check out the rest of the song from above; very moving and sung beautifully by Jennifer Lawrence) an all out war for the freedom of a nation ensues.
This first of a two part finale definitely does well as a precursor to the main event. At first I was concerned about them breaking this story into two parts, but after seeing it this way, I feel like it was executed, directed, and shot very well with enough action and thrill to keep you wanting more. And of course, with the performances of a strong all star cast combined with a well paced plot, Mockingjay Part 1 delivers a pretty tasty appetizer while we all wait in anticipation for the main course. Here’s hoping that part 2 closes with a bang, but until then, “Happy Hunger Games and the odds be ever in your favor.” I rate this one 3.5 stars.
Review by Sean Daniel Stephens, Austin Texas
Born September 12 1989 in Killeen, Texas, Sean is a Licensed phlebotomist, an aspiring filmmaker and film enthusiast. “Growing up, I always had a love for films. That is how I bonded with family and friends. Along with my love for books, films helped to open up my imagination to new worlds and ideas.”