Film review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

Besides having a title that is a mouthful, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I will also make very little sense to those unfamiliar with the world of Katniss Everdeen. We start in medias res and have to fill in much of the story for ourselves if we never read the books or saw the two previous installments of the series.

This hurdle may have been easy to clear if the film itself wasn’t also stretched and contorted to tell have a story, with the major action to follow in next year’s Part 2. The tactic of splitting the last book of a series into two final films, the first obviously ending on a cliffhanger, is one that was also deployed by Harry Potter and Twilight, and if Peter Jackson had made his Lord of the Rings trilogy 10 years later, we likely would have been saddled with a four-parter, too.

Perhaps The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 will eventually be absolutely riveting when it forms a coherent unit with next year’s Part 2, but lacking a major action scene or any kind of story arc that would show development and proper resolution during this particular film, it feels like more of a footnote than a proper page, never mind half a novel. We can usually forgive a film for a slow beginning if the last part takes our breath away, but if that first section suddenly vaults to prominence as its own thing, we have to call a spade a spade.

To read the full review, visit The Prague Post. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is currently on wide release in Bulgaria.

(Still of Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Photo by Murray Close – © 2014 – Lionsgate)