Mockingjay Part 1: If We Burn, You Burn With Us

I went to one of the earlier showings, Thursday 8:00PM. I couldn’t help but smile when I walked into my local movie theater. There were people sitting on the floor, waiting in line to get in. It it was a small crowd, lots of high school aged people with their friends. Reminded me of all the midnight releases I was in that theater for. Pirates of the Caribbean (all of them, I’m pretty sure) And enough Harry Potter movies that I will always be indebted to the theater.

Coin was portrayed really well. At first I wasn’t sold on the hair (neither was Effie), but the portrayal of her character really grew on me, and the slight foreshadowing, ie: ominous music, wIth her last speech, gave me chills.

I read this article about Jennifer Lawrence HATING that she had to sing for the movie, but that scene was intense! Like, really well done. The way it started with just her raspy, slow, not-over-the-top-in-any-way voice, and built slowly with the orchestra behind her. Finally, she was joined with the voices of all the districts, as they rebelled against the capitol. It was a perfect blend of visual, music and cinematic build, and an impressive way to combine the story with subtle symbolism.

I have a friend who connects with Finnick and Annie on a deep spiritual level, and I wish I had that. I want that. They are two of the most interesting side characters in the whole series.The movie only catched a snapshot of their love, and the book too, for that matter. UGH when they were reunited, and she jumps into his arms, and I CAN’T. I couldn’t. I didn’t. I wish we had a whole book of just their story. Though, the ending of that book would most definitely suck to read.

After I left the theater there was a group of friends, practically half running with excitement back to their cars, talking so fast I thought I fell into an episode of Gilmore Girls . “At the end of the last movie I was like ahhh, where’s Peeta and now i’m like aaaaah, what’s wrong with Peeta?!” It made me think, 1. did you even read the books because you should read the books they are great books and 2. Yes. This is it. This is the type of energy I love to surround myself with–to share these great moments of storytelling and fandom with your closest friends so you can scream about it afterwards.

By Olivia

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I didn’t really like this book. A couple weeks ago I picked up a library copy to try and get a reread in before the movie came out, but 3 or 4 pages in I gave up. So when I sat in the theater tonight, those first 3 or 4 minutes were spot on with the book. And that’s about all I could vouch for.

Let’s talk about Peeta, first. Josh Hutcherson is kind of weird and short and can we all agree on that? But honestly, he killed it. I think he was my favorite in the whole movie. He really is drained and used and exhausted and portrayed Peeta fantastically. When he and Katniss are reunited (I legitimately forgot about this scene. I went from crying to half screaming in five seconds flat), there was just a ton of emotion there. On a side note, why would Katniss ever pick Peeta? How is this even a debate. Have you guys seen Gale? Get real.

So I came to this realization about halfway through the movie, which is a little late, but it is what it is. At first I was so confused and kind of disappointed by Jennifer Lawrence. She just didn’t seem all there. Where was the depth? Katniss is best in the arena, always has been. And then it clicked. Duh. That’s the whole entire point. Katniss is crazy, and that fine line between wanting to be brave and unable to keep it together was actually played really well. This intricate juxtaposition came off better on screen than it did on the page, in my opinion. Katniss is irrational and  level headed, able to save face when she’s needed most but can’t sleep through the night.

Let’s bask in that final scene. How great was that? The contrast between the district’s momentum and Katniss’ spiral out of control. She, Peeta, the tributes, they’re still the puppets. The pawns. And it doesn’t matter what side they’re on, if they’re with the revolution or the Capitol, they still loss. That sucks.

Overall, the film was slow but calculated, and I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely a fan’s film, not one for the critics. For whatever reason, I thought a lot about Deathly Hallows Part 1 while sitting in the theater. When you split a story in two, the first film is obviously going to be spent laying the foundation, and the ramp up to the climax of the revolution was exciting to watch as a fan of the series. I mean, does this book warrant two parts? I don’t know. It’s too late to continue to speculate about that. This franchise is a big money maker, and I’m not complaining about the extra time I get to spend with these characters that I like, even if it’s in a part of the story I’m not super keen on.

I can’t wait to see the Capitol fall.

By Hannah

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