Thursday, 11 December 2014

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Review (with GIF's!)

Greetings blogosphere! As you are all aware, once a year, young adults are graced with a new instalment of everyone's favourite Dystopian book-to-movie-adaption series (sorry 'Divergent'). Although I'm just a tad delayed, to kick start my holidays (which began yesterday, get excited!), I made it my mission to finally catch up with the rest of society and see it for myself. Was it worth the wait? Did it live up to my expectations? All will be revealed shortly. Without further ado, let the judgement begin . . .

I'm just going to put your anticipation to rest right away, have no fear, I really did think that this film was indeed pretty damn awesome. Considering 'Catching Fire' was an epic success in my books, there's no denying my expectations for this next film were quite high, and luckily, they were all met with flying colours. It wasn't totally action packed from beginning to end, but for me, that was actually a good thing. If I'm being completely honest, suspenseful battles tend to bore me after a while, and I often find are put in place to compensate for a talentless cast. However, this was certainly not the case by any stretch of the imagination.

The movie begins pretty much where the last film left off, as we see former 'girl on fire' Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) reunited with her mother (Paula Malcomson), sister Prim (Willow Shields) and childhood friend Gale Hawthorn (Liam Hemsworth), when taken to the underground 'rebel' facility of District 13.

In this rebel HQ, freedom leader President Coin (Julianne Moore) and mastermind Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) are planning a rebellion against the capitol and its ruthless leader President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland), using Katniss as their mockingjay poster girl. Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) having been captured and manipulated by the capitol, she has a clear incentive to do this, with the intent of saving him, along with tributes Johanna Mason (Jena Malone), and at the request of fellow surviving victor Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), Annie Cresta (Stef Dawson).

Enlisting the help of mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and publicity representative Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), Katniss is set to star in a series of viral propaganda films representing Panem's uneasiness and desire to fight, all shot by guerrilla film maker Cressida (Natalie Dormer).

A bunch of other twists and turns ensue as the 125 minute film progresses, however to avoid the wrath of enraged teens who have not yet seen the movie (aka, me yesterday), I better stop there.

As I hinted before, this film? Definitely not a let down. It certainly differs from the other two in the way that it doesn't actually involve a hunger games, and therefore, there is a significantly smaller amount of action, but trust me when I say this isn't a bad thing. After a while, countless fighting montages begin to get ridiculously boring, so the fact that these lengthy battles were nowhere to be seen was definitely a positive (well, you know, at least for me).

The acting of course was super top-notch. Everyone really delivered, although that's not exactly a surprise. Considering the cast contains two Academy Award winners and a whole bunch of Big Screen veterans, I don't actually think it's possible for the movie to be a flop. Because there isn't as much action to distract us, we're really able to focus on the development of the characters, and are introduced to a darker, more troubled Katniss and a brainwashed, maniacal Peeta.

Don't worry, this movie has more going for it than just the spectacular acting. The plot line, let me tell you now, is all kinds of awesome. I don't know what exactly prompted the decision to split the final novel into two films (aside from copious amounts of money), but director Francis Lawrence made it work. We got not only another inside look into the controlling nature of power-hungry governments, but got to see what goes into the marketing of a revolutionary rebellion.

I feel like this film really does cater to a whole range of people - those who want to watch a well put together warning of the horrific effects of a flawed future society, and those who want to see what everyone else is talking about and are looking for a vaguely entertaining viewing experience. Whichever slot you fit into, the suspenseful twists and turns will keep you hooked.

As expected, the film doesn't completely resolve itself before the credits roll, but that is totally excusable. After all, if it did, we'd have absolutely nothing to look forward to on November 20th 2015. The cliffhanger-ish ending just leaves you wanting more in the best way possible, and I know I'm super pumped for the next instalment.

Overall, if you haven't got the vibe already, I highly recommend you go out and see this film. Its plot is engaging, the acting's flawless, and as a bonus, tickets are only $15. Whether you're a fan of the franchise or not, there'll be something for you in this movie. And I don't mean to play the peer pressure card, but pretty much everyone you know is likely to have seen it, so just make this your attempt to keep up with the rest of society.

So now that's pretty much the end of my review. I guess I could waffle on for ages, but so you leave here not totally bored out of your brain, I think it's best for all parties involved that I just stop here. What do you do with the rest of your day from here? Go out and see the movie! It will blow your mind holes. May the odds be ever in your favour. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx

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