Third installment of Hunger Games trilogy surprises old fan

Sage Sutton

The theater darkens. Armed only with popcorn, I’m thrust into Mockingjay: Part 1, the first half of the last book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, has been seen as the rough and tough girl, but when I see her for the first time since Catching Fire, she’s anxious, scared and may even be crying. Showing the softened part of Katniss was an interesting look into her mind.

Between Catching Fire and Mockingjay, many districts had begun participating in varied acts of rebellion. Along with rescuing Katniss from the games, Finnick Odair, played by Sam Claflin, and Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks, were also among the rescued. The escort/mentor to both Peeta and Katniss, Effie is stunning even without the wigs and capital styling. Both Effie and Haymitch, played by Woody Harrelson, bring a much needed sense of comedic relief. Effie complains about missing the capital and wigs, and insists she’s been captured. Haymitch, on the other hand, just wants his alcohol back. They both play an even greater role in Katniss’ survival as she’s now without Peeta.

Having already read the book, I expected the movie to be pretty similar, as it had been in the past. This movie followed suit and stayed true to the novel, with the exception of adding a series of propaganda videos, shot throughout the districts. Gale Hawthorne, played by Liam Hemsworth, was a much heavier role than usual, protecting Katniss and showing more of his true feelings towards her. Finnick also played a relatable companion to Katniss as they both experience the pain of losing loved ones — Peeta and Annie had been recently captured by the capital.

Mockingjay surprised me with how much violence it actually contained. I had figured that with Katniss and her companions being out of the Hunger Games, there would be less. There were traitorous executions, skeletal remains of District 12 and especially the bombing of District 8, which left Katniss in tears once again. Overall, I think the movie ended in exactly the right place. There has been much controversy over leaving just enough room for suspense and closure respectively. The movie was much more emotional than the previous two, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.