DVD Review: As you await the release of ‘Mockingjay Part 2,’ revisit the girl who is still on fire in ‘Mockingjay Part 1’

Zofia Kayian, Staff Writer

If you have ever read “The Hunger Games” books or watched a movie from this multimillion dollar franchise, “Mockingjay Part 1” will not disappoint you. “Mockingjay Part 1” is a perfect setup for “Mockingjay Part 2,” which comes out in November 20, because when the movie is over and the screen turns black, you want more.

“Mockingjay Part 1” is great for everyone; there is heartache, drama, and just enough action to get your heart pumping. The one responsible for all of this is Katniss Everdeen, who is played by the amazing Jennifer Lawrence or J-Law, when she becomes the Mockingjay and the face of the revolution to overthrow the Capitol.

After Katniss Everdeen’s horrifying rescue from the Quarter Quell in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” she is brought to District 13, a District thought to be long gone, and destroyed, by the hands of the Capitol. District 13’s commander and chief, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), has a plan to overthrow the Capitol and needs Katniss’s help to do it. Joining her in the revolution are Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), BeeTee (Jeffrey Wright), Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), and Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson)

Lawrence, much like her performance in “The Silver Linings Playbook,” does a stunning job portraying the perplexing and alluring Katniss Everdeen. Her level of talent always seems to surprise and amaze her viewers, like when Lawrence demands everyone’s attention when Katniss sees District 12’s ruins for the first time.

Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark, has to act almost as a totally different character since the last movie. Peeta’s innocent, helpless, personality is gone since Coin decided not to rescue Peeta from the Quarter Quell, and is being held captive by President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Hutcherson’s acting is spectacular when watching Peeta’s dark transformation from President Snow’s torment. Through interviews brought to you by the Capitol, you watch Peeta’s eyes lose their life and his mind lose its sanity.

Of course, the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale is a big part of “The Hunger Games” series, and it obviously plays a role in “Mockingjay Part 1.” Peeta is stuck in the Capitol, which means he is absent from much of the film. He is talked about more than he is actually in the movie, so it is Kale’s (Katniss + Gale) time to shine.

The other Lawrence on set, Francis Lawrence, who is the director of “Mockingjay Part 1,” does not stray far from the book. Other than a few non-important scenes cut, it is basically the same. Director Lawrence’s eye for film is amazing everything from the costumes in District 13, or lack thereof, to the ruins of District 12.

One thing that separates “The Hunger Games” series from other book-movie franchises is the costumes. From the Capitol’s outrageous clothes and hairstyles to each district with their own unique outfits, the costumes are a marvel to see. In “Mockingjay Part 1” you get to see more styles and the Mockingjay armor that Katniss wears when making videos for the revolution and when visiting other districts.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” is definitely worth time out of your day to watch it. Maybe make a day out of it and watch all three movies, so when Part 2 comes out the odds will be ever in your favor for a rewarding cinematic experience!

Our grade: A
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”
Rated: PG-13
Length: 123 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Thriller
Directed by: Frances Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson