By Anthony Cardellini ’17
“Mockingjay: Part 1”- starring Jennifer Lawerence, Josh Hutercson, and Liam Hemsworth
6 out of 10
Much of the criticism I heard about “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” going into the theater was that it didn’t need two movies.
People, especially book fans, regarded this as a marketing tactic, based off multiple installments in “Harry Potter” and “The Hobbit.”
But if you look at this from the perspective of the movie companies, “Mockingjay” did what it was supposed to do theatrically as well as economically.
The first movie was meant to be not much more than a scene setter for the big finale, and I found that it accomplished that successfully.
Essentially, the makers of the movie franchise, including Suzanne Collins who wrote the book series, wanted to show simply how emotionally unstable the world of Panem was.
They used desolate shots of the towns, big props including a giant dam and rioting in the cities to convey this.
But none of these things worked so much as showing Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss. Lawrence has already established herself as a serious actress, and she carries this movie to at least partial success.
In all her eye-darting, hands-twitching glory, Lawrence makes the tension in the air palpable, and connects with the audience through showing her instability.
She doesn’t make you look close and find a tense, nervous rebellion within her; she exudes it through her even stare.
Lawrence’s believability, along with above-average acting performances from Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, carry the movie halfway there.
The other half? A big finale that can certainly be expected.
Still, the movie wasn’t great apart from these qualities above. I didn’t like the cliché lines from the book: they seemed awkward and out of place.
Also, the director Francis Lawrence seems to try to prioritize a well-directed film over a teen thriller. This is a bold move, but comes too late into the movie series to see any success.
Overall, you can’t give one half of a movie any great or terrible review until the second half comes out, and so in anticipation I wait with the rest of the book fans for a hopefully fantastic finale.