By: BROOKE RUDISILL
Sleepless nights, haunting nightmares and torturous thoughts of missing “star-crossed lover,” Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), triggers an immense amount of character development for leading lady, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), in the first part of the last installment of “The Hunger Games.”
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” begins with Katniss finding herself in the compounds of District 13 with a few other victors who were pulled out of the Quarter Quell in the second film adaptation, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”
With constant worrying of President Snow (Donald Sutherland), Katniss struggles with the thoughts of becoming the face of the rebellion. She decides to make an agreement with President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), leader of the rebels in District 13, to become the figurehead and in exchange, the rebels must attempt to capture Peeta and the other victors that are captured by the Capitol at the earliest opportunity.
President Snow makes it appoint that he is still using victims as pieces in his own games for pure amusement, even though the games cease to exist. Sutherland truly succeeds in bringing such a dark, twisted and thought provoking villain on screen to life.
With subtle amounts of humor that were strategically placed in the film, viewers will definitely find a sense of amusement in lighter scenes. Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) showcases yet again, a hilarious, sarcastic sense of humor, while Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) is surprisingly sober throughout the entire film.
Katniss must make commercial promos in hopes to expand the magnitude of rebels who wish to join the second operation to destroy the Capitol. She attempts to shoot her first promo in a studio, dressed in outfit designs created by her old stylist Cinna (played in previous installments by Lenny Kravitz). In a hilarious bit, Katniss struggles in each take to deliver a perfect speech that does not seem scripted, and it becomes evident that Jennifer Lawrence’s eccentric personality shines through.
The perfect speech comes from Katniss when she visits a hospital in District 8. After seeing all of the casualties that the Capitol has brought upon the remaining districts, Katniss shoots the first promo unscripted, ending it by summoning President Snow with the fierce lines of, “fire is catching. If we burn, you burn with us.”
The first half of Suzanne Collins third and final novel, “Mockingjay,” spends majority of the time engaging the readers attention on personal thoughts inside of Katniss’ head; which gave Director Francis Lawrence more of a challenge in regards of maintaining viewer engagements considering the highly climactic scenes are in the second half of the novel, which will be featured in “Mockingjay – Part 2” on Nov. 20, 2015.
Francis Lawrence made sure not to disappoint avid fans of Collins’ novel by intensifying the limited amount of action-packed scenes that are shown in “Mockingjay – Part 1.”
Viewers will certainly be surprised at the colossal amount of character development that Peeta portrays in this film. The Capitol captures Peeta, using him as a game piece in hopes to torture Katniss after she had destroyed the Quarter Quell. With only a limited amount of five appearances on screen, Hutcherson makes it obvious that he is a dominant scene-stealer throughout the entire film. The tension between Peeta and Katniss drives the entire movie until the very last scene, which undoubtedly will leave viewers speechless.