Tuesday, 9 December 2014

From Page to Screen: Mockingjay Part 1

Adapted from Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, 2010)

JENNIFER LAWRENCE ~ Katniss Everdeen
LIAM HEMSWORTH ~ Gale Hawthorne
WOODY HARRELSON ~ Haymitch Abernathy
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN ~ Plutarch Heavensbee
JULIANNE MOORE ~ President Coin
WILLOW SHIELDS ~ Primrose Everdeen
SAM CLAFLIN ~ Finnick Odair


What’s it about?
(From imdb.com)
With the Games now destroyed, Katniss Everdeen, along with Gale, Finnick and Beetee, now end in up in the previously thought destroyed District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, Katniss becomes the Mockingjay - the symbol of Panem’s revolution.

Does it hold up?
Oh, yes. I loved it.

Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss has been pitch perfect from the very beginning, but in Mockingjay Part 1 she entered another dimension of excellence. She’s manages to balance out the fragile, broken and scared little girl and the fierce, angry and determined warrior in the same scenes, sentences and even expressions. Katniss is one of the most complicated characters I’ve ever come across and Lawrence gets her across in all her glory, good and bad. And I think it shows in the volume of people who haven’t read the books and yet still back Katniss rather than Katniss/Peeta or Katniss/Gale.

But she’s not the only incredible actor in this series. Peeta’s transformation during his capture in the Capitol was written all over his face. Every emotional and mental trauma that was inflicted in him came across clear as day and it made the reactions to him feel even stronger and more emotive. I have t say that I was really impressed with Finnick as well; even though he wasn’t in it as much as I would have liked (so. pretty.), he made everything his own when he was on screen. And Effie. BLOODY HELL, Effie. I have never seen an arc like that for a secondary character. Ever. The depth Elizabeth Banks throw into her, the feeling, the realness of her. Incredible. 

The entire film has an overwhelming sense of foreboding and tension. Although I obviously knew what was coming and all of the heartbreak that it was building up to, I still felt like I was held tight by the apprehension of coming events. It was building to an emotional punch in the throat and the apex of the revolution in Mockingjay Part 2. Even though the novel could easily have been put into one film I’m glad there’s two because these actors are bringing these characters to life in just as powerful a way as Suzanne Collins did and there can never be too much of that. 

I loved Mockingjay Part 1 and I can’t wait to see the second part. I am going to be gutted to see Katniss’s story end (again), however.

Rating: 9/10

Book or film?
Both, because they’re equally fantastic, but incomparable. They are telling the same story in two different mediums and I do think that that needs to be remembered, but either way, Katniss and her story is being shared and that’s the important thing.


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