“Mockingjay”: One of the best films of the year

MockingjayBY ADRIONA MURPHY (’15)

One of the most highly anticipated movies of 2014 was finally released, and it definitely lived up to the hype. The third installment of the multi-million dollar franchise quickly jumped to #1 in the box office and rightfully so. This one blew me out of the water compared to the first and second films. The scenes were beautifully crafted and were a very large contrast to those of the first and second film.

The first two installments were drenched in rich color and greenery, due to the fact that they took place during two actual games and were not as focused in the districts. “Mockingjay,” I felt, was not as colorful. It was often darker, gloomier colors with the occasional bright scene intermixed. It was a great way to keep the audience engaged, especially since there was not as much action as the first two films.

However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any action. In the book, the uprisings in the districts were never really described or shown to the reader, as it was written in Katniss’s point of view. She, of course, was not present for most of the demonstrations. The movie elaborated much more on the uprising and what was really happening in the districts, which was a great addition. Some of the most cinematically engaging scenes were the ones that took place in the districts, without the lead characters directly involved.

Other than the cinematography, I felt that the directing, acting and plot were much better than the first two. For some reason, I felt that the other of the “Hunger Games” series weren’t as fleshed out and didn’t really touch anything deeper than adolescent violence.

“Mockingjay” had a better plot as a whole; it wasn’t just violence, and it was something much bigger, especially in light of what has been happening in our society as of late. There were a lot of very emotional scenes which heavily competed with those in the first two (yes I’m talking about the death of Rue and Maggs).

The movie had its downsides as well though. It seemed to drag in some places, making me feel that maybe they could have just made “Mockingjay” one movie instead of two. It also had some major differences that I thought were very important in the book.

For example, when Katniss gives her demands while agreeing to be the Mockingjay, they leave out one very important one: she gets to kill President Snow. Also, in the books, Effie was not in 13 with the rest of them but in the film she was, and she played a pretty big role (that wasn’t really a bad thing though, she was pretty funny throughout the movie).

One thing that I was disappointed about was that there was not a lot of focus on one very important character in Mockingjay: Finnick Odair. In the books, he and Katniss had a very close relationship as they both had loved ones trapped in the Capitol and both had gone through some very traumatic situations. He had very few moments, although one of them was quite a big one as he spoke to all the districts, exposing some very interesting Capitol secrets.

Of course, there were differences here and there, but overall the film seemed to follow the book pretty well. The movie had everything a good movie needed to have: action, incredible scenery, good acting and emotion.

Overall, it was one of my favorite movies I saw this year, especially out of the ones based on very popular books.