Last Wednesday, I finally went to see Mockingjay (Part 1) with a friend of mine. I avoided Catching Fire while it was in theaters, and thought I might do the same for this movie until she invited me. It isn’t because I don’t love the book series, which I do, or because I was afraid they’d mess things up, because they didn’t for the first two. I think the reason is because it is done so well, I wasn’t sure I was ready to relive what that book put me through. In the end, I, of course, loved it. Here are five things I thought about the movie (possible spoilers ahead).
1. The characters felt so real. They were true to themselves, but also true to the development that has already happened. Katniss being shy about asking for things, until they tell her no was perfect, and Prim being both clever enough to realize this was an option and kindhearted enough to go back for the cat was beautiful.
2. I am so so sad about Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was amazing in this movie.
3. I was incredibly moved by the grassroots nature of the revolution in this movie. I loved that Rue’s whistled tune was the signal and the dam breaking scene made my chest swell in awe. I was inspired by their determination and by the fact that the Peacekeepers could take down some of them but could never prevail against all of them. It gave me a little hope for the world.
4. Finnick and Annie’s reunion scene was the most romantic thing I’ve seen on film in a long time. And I am so glad they kept in his description of what happened to him. Sam Claflin was magnetic. During that portion, every time they would turn the camera to the action happening in the Capitol, I would will them to turn it back to Finnick.
5. One of the things I loved most about this movie is that they got out of Katniss’ head. Don’t get me wrong, I love her as a character and I love hearing her voice in the books. But since they don’t spend the movie focusing on her perspective, we get to see things we didn’t in the book. The scene where Snow announces that any association with the mockingjay will be cause for death, for instance, so his granddaughter takes down her braid was subtle and yet breathtaking. Of course, this is why we were able to see all of the grassroots efforts.
Overall, I think it was an amazing adaptation of its source material. It wasn’t exactly the same, but it got through the same themes and ideals, and it was beautifully done.