Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 sets stage for final film

Mockingjay Part 1 prepares the audience for the final throw down, Mockingjay Part 2. Though some viewers will loathe this, fans of the books are finally getting what they rightfully deserve — a movie adaptation that stays true to the book. This film was imperative to the film series’ progression.

The third installment starts off in the secret underground location of District 13 where Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist, is asked to be the ‘Mockingjay’ rebel spokeswoman for the upcoming civil war. After Katniss sees her district burned to ashes, she agrees to be the rebel’s Mockingjay, thus continuing her cat-and-mouse game with President Snow.

Although it might not be easily recognized going into the film, Mockingjay’s relevance to American’s lives at present is undeniable. With protests over the grand jury’s decision to not indict officer Darren Wilson in the death of Mike Brown, it is easy to see a glimpse of the country’s current state in this film. To me this is slightly ironic, especially because Mockingjay is set in a post-apocalyptic North American society. Clearly protestors in Ferguson, Missouri made this connection as well. After the film released, protesters graffitied ‘If We Burn You Burn With Us’, a slogan that gave the rebels of Panem further inspiration to rise up against the capitol.

Jennifer Lawrence is hands-down the most exceptional actor in the movie. While her role does require her to showcase her talents, most of the cast does not inspire much. With Peta left behind during the Third Quarter Quell and imprisoned in the Capitol, Katniss is in a state of emotional distress. Lawrence feeds off of this discomfort and carries her role as Katniss with absolute grace. Lawrence helps Katniss launch her badassery to a new level. She even successfully shoots down a high speed aircraft with an explosive arrow.

Perhaps the one fatal flaw of this film is its portrayal of the Katniss, Peta and Gale “love triangle.” Katniss, our beloved heroine, has been through absolute hell. She is physically and emotionally in ruins. Although she is trying to reconstruct herself from her very foundation, the writers had the bright idea of hyperbolizing a love triangle.

They exaggerated a triangle that could have been simply produced with mere angsty side glances. This portrayal completely took away from Katniss’ on-screen plight, transforming her into just another damsel in distress needing a man to save her. In reality, there was never a time when Katniss was not able to save herself. She shoots explosive arrows for goodness sake — she made archery cool.

Aside from the demeaning love triangle, this film served its purpose. The special effects were applaud worthy (but also expected from a franchise of its caliber), the acting believable and the story relatable. If you have read the book series or you have fallen in love with the films, go out and see this. You will not regret it. If you are not as enthusiastic about the franchise, wait and rent this film from a Red Box.