MOCKINGJAY – THE HUNGER GAMES – PART 1 (2014)
FILM REVIEW BY PAUL LAIGHT
Dear Hunger Games Franchisers,
I really liked the first two films for the following reasons:
1) Jennifer Lawrence – a wonderfully talented actress who proved her natural actoring ability in Winter’s Bone (2010), was perfectly cast in the lead and has proven star quality.
2) Katniss Everdeen is a formidable character with great physical and emotional power as well as fight and determination. She is brave, loyal and it doesn’t hurt that she resembles a young goddess like Artemis (not the Kebab place on Garratt Lane.)
3) The films adhered to a convincing formula which built believable characters, trained them up and then pit them against each other in gladiatorial combat.
4) Powerful drama as children are exploited for the purposes of political purposes by an dictatorial capitalist machine.
5) Social commentary on the nature of “reality television” or physical sports such as boxing where humanity takes vicarious pleasure in watching individuals destroy themselves
6) The games’ themselves are exciting with theme of individual glory being pitted against the notion of teamwork acting as a microcosm for the District as a whole.
7) Capital City (i.e. Capitalism) being shown to be a nefarious force ruling over and exploiting the working classes for their own ends and thus the communistic ideals proffered appealed to my socialist leanings.
8) The narcissistic and vain city dwellers shown to be preening peacocks only interested in themselves versus the noble working classes struggling against the richer scum. The idea of revolution also appealed to my Bolshie side.
So, while Hunger Games – Mockinjay Part 1 is a very well constructed film you’ve ruined the franchise with a piss-taking split-into-two-parts-narrative which has completely lost all momentum to the story. When you rest your head on your pillows stuffed with cash I hope — Hunger Games Franchisers — you sleep well because I feel like I’ve had to endure TWO HOURS at the cinema of fluffing. Because aside from a bit of action this film was very boring. It was ALL fluff and no money shots!
As your servant brushes your teeth with diamond encrusted toothbrush I note the excellent performances of Lawrence, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP), Jeffrey Wright and I completely get the political and social satire of using Katniss and Peter (excellent Josh Hutcherson) as propaganda tools BUT you made that point over and over again. There was not enough drama for me. It was all fluff and set-up and I want more for my money.
The film speaks of socialist values and revolution all the while the capitalist machine rakes in the dough. But I felt cheated I tell you – cheated. The character of Katniss was kept in a hospital bed or underground and generally a bystander in the action. I don’t usually complain that a blockbuster is too cerebral but the first two films were great and set-up certain expectations in my mind; so it’s probably MY fault. Of course I’m not stupid I realise you’re keeping something back for the finale but it had better be good guys – it better be good!!