Oh me, oh my. Yesterday I had the chance to attend The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I premiere here in Chicago and it was prodigious. Yes, I just used the word prodigious. The film was dark and twisty, displaying the destruction that comes from war mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically. This is demonstrated not only in the fields of human remains but in the withering away of the beloved Peeta Mellark.*
*This post will likely contain spoilers. But if a blog writes about a movie and the book came out in 2010, does that make it a spoiler?
I have been weary about the two-part finale to The Hunger Games trilogy since it was announced in 2012 as it seemed like an easy way to make more money and keep up with the Jones’ (Harry Potter, Twilight, etc.). Adding to my pessimist point of view, Mockingjay was my least favorite of the three books (Sorry, Suzanne Collins). To say I was “pleasantly surprised” would be the understatement of the year. THIS MOVIE WAS SO GOOD, GUYS. Instead of retelling the movie and trying to do the film justice, here are some major takeaways that made this movie better than expected:
1. Elizabeth “Effie Trinket” Banks. If I ever meet Elizabeth Banks I’m simply going to say, “Thank you.” While the film was arguably the darkest of the three (Bombing hospitals? Not cool, President Snow), I audibly laughed every. single. time. Effie had a line, rolled her eyes or even just stood there with an unbreakable air of Capitol-ness. Also thumbs up to Haymitch for being as Haymitch-y as ever.
2. War-drobe. While we’re on the subject of Effie, can we just give the wardrobe crew an Oscar now? Anyone who can take a District 13 plain grey jumpsuit and intricately, yet subtlety, change it to match each characters’ personality is a winner in my book. Also, Katniss’ distinct Mockingjay outfits would blow the mind of even the harshest of critics – I’m looking at you, Tim Gunn. RIP, Cinna.
3. The “CGI diet.” In the words of Keanu Reeves, “whoa.” Little Peeta Mellark looks worse and worse as the movie progresses becoming a shell of a human with gaunt looking features. One part realistic, one part depressing.
4. Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It always adds another layer of intimacy when you see an actor or actress perform in ones of their last works. This was no exception.
5. The Districts. This film better explored each district, how they rebelled and the role they play in supporting the existing system of Panem from mining to logging to electricity. While I thought most of the film would take place underground in District 13 (snooze), there was plenty of exploring the other dynamics.
I could go on for days but instead I’m just going to go watch the movie again this weekend. Probably twice. Three times if I’m lucky.
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