Silver screen spotlight: Mockingjay Part 1
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n the latest Hunger Games movie, The Hunger Games: “Mockingjay: Part 1,” Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and new characters come together to remake their symbol of hope: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).
In this third installment, protagonist Katniss overcomes more than just the threat of the current government, “The Capitol.” She finds herself fighting against those she once thought were on her side.
So far, this film has proven to be more popular in foreign countries with $67.5 million in earning international and $55 million in the U.S.
Opening on Nov. 20, the film brought in about $17 million, which was not as impressive as Catching Fire's opening night of $25 million. On Nov. 21. “Mockingjay: Part 1,” hauled in $33 million for a total of $55 million in two days.
The film opens with Katniss still recovering from her return from the arena in “Catching Fire,” the second “Hunger Games” installment. She is still angry with Haymitch and Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) for not bringing her love interest Peeta (Josh Hutherson) back from the games as well. She is desperate to find out if Peeta is alive or if The Capitol has killed him.
Many moviegoers expressed discontent with the execution of the film because it lacked action. Third-year Patrick Bower had a different opinion: "I thought it was great because it hammered the political tension in it, and it had a Cold War element where all the fighting and genocide was implied, but all we saw was the propaganda. It captured the essence of the propaganda war perfectly."
Much of the movie's plot seemed to be laying the groundwork for “Mockingjay: Part 2,” so though the plot was not as action-filled as the last two “Hunger Games” movies. There were many important plot twists and details that gave greater insight into the dystopian world originally created for a book trilogy by author Suzanne Collins.
However, if “Part 2” is as slow-paced as “Part 1,” then it is safe to say that the separation of these movies was a poor cinematic decision. Recently, violent, action-packed films have hit the big screen, so this may have helped to highlight the lack of a constant, adrenaline-rush type plot.
The separation of Mockingjay into two parts has proven to be an unpopular decision. According to third-year Peter Harrison, "This trend of purposely dividing a film that could easily be made in one film is excessive and indulgent."
Though fans, in theory, did enjoy the idea of being able to see more of their favorite films, the general consensus about the separation is that studio executives, directors and producers simply made this decision in order to make money.
With only one film left in this series, there are high hopes and high expectations for what the producers and directors will do to create a well-executed film that is true to both the original book plot and the feel of the overall “Hunger Games” series.
What made this film so distinct was that Philip Seymour Hoffman starred as a key player in preparing Katniss for her comeback as the Mockingjay. The renowned actor died shortly after filming “Part 1,” and midway into the filming of “Part 2.” This adds a certain amount of appreciation and interest in the role he plays, and the character portrayal he brings to the role.
Currently, executives are trying to figure out exactly how to incorporate the scenes they filmed of Hoffman for “Mockingjay: Part 2.” Hoffman’s character is pivotal to the story line in the novels.