The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Reason for the Rating: Intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material.
Plot Summary: Rebel, Katniss Everdeen, becomes a symbol for freedom and continues fighting the Capital.
PopFam Recommends: You might want to make Mockingjay Part 1 a special date night with your pre-teen/teenager, but don’t subject the whole family to this one
If you saw the first two Hunger Games movies, or if you have a pre-teen/teenager in your home, you may be tempted to see Mockingjay-Part 1, but this movie is really only video worthy.
Let me start by saying I really liked The Hunger Games, both as a book and a movie. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is a calculating warrior who defends her family and friends with every ability and passion she possesses. But her passion wanes, and by the time we see her in Mockingjay she's just a pathetic whining mess with moments of bravery brought on by pain she sees inflicted on other people. Her compassion is admirable, but her lack of vision, her inability to see the bigger picture, is pitiful.
In prior movies, Katniss is plagued by her love for Gale (Liam Hemsworth), her best friend who has helped provide for her family, and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), the baker’s son who helped her endure the Hunger Games. Now Katniss is obsessed with Peeta and his survival in the Capital. Is he ok? Are they treating him well? What is District 13 going to do about rescuing him? When will they rescue him? While surrounded by people who are fighting for survival themselves, she only thinks of Peeta.
She does have moments when her fighting spirit arises. While visiting District 8, she pays a call to the field hospital, full of wounded from the fighting. Her heart is moved with their devotion to her and the fight for freedom. So when the Capital bombs the hospital as she’s leaving, the fire in her heart burns with hatred for President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Until she gets back to District 13 and sees a broadcast of Peeta, and then whimpy Katniss is back, pining for his release only.
The best reason for seeing Mockingjay Part 1, is to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his last roles before his death. While his role of Plutarch Heavensbee is supporting, as always his character brings depth to the story and integrity to the movie itself. Truly, the supporting characters are the ones I wanted to see more of…Effie Trinkett (Elizabeth Banks), Finnick Odair (Sam Clafin) and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson). These characters had so much personality that ended up being smothered by Katniss and her desire for Peeta.
Of course, an adult view of Katniss and her plight is different than that of a teenager. Having read the books or seen the previous movies, many pre-teens and teenagers are excited to see what’s going to happen to Katniss and Peeta. If this is true in your household, don’t miss the opportunity to take your child on a special date that includes this movie. Due to some intense scenes late in the movie and a twisting plotline, Mockingjay Part 1 may be too much for younger kids.
Mockingjay Part 1 has all the makings of a good movie…great actors, amazing computer graphics and cinematography, as well as action that draws you into the emotion of the story. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t deliver a good plotline or main character that is strong enough to carry the intensity of the story.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• How has Katniss changed from the first Hunger Games movie to Mockingjay?
• What is something about Katniss you admire?
• What do you think would happen to Katniss if she wasn’t surrounded by friends like Haymitch, Finnick, and Effie? How do your friends make a difference in your life?
Tags: Hunger Games,Mockingjay,Jennifer Lawrence,Josh Hutcherson,Liam Hemsworth,Philip Seymour Hoffman,Veronica Roth,Katniss,Peeta,Gale
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