“Mockingjay” delves deeper, changes pace

Jake Tapley


As someone who doesn’t care all that much for young adult fiction, I have never read The Hunger Games trilogy.

When the books first came out, I noticed people were reading them and read a synopsis– essentially just another futuristic dystopian novel that seemed equal parts George Orwell’s 1984 and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” – but went no further than that.

I watched the first movie a year or so after it came out and didn’t think it was anything to write home about.

However, with each new release, my opinion of the franchise seems to shift. What has changed most noticeably in the second and third movies is the intensity of mood.

Though “The Hunger Games” certainly packed a lot of action sequences and violence, “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” seem to somehow carry more weight.

The story of part one follows Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, as she leads a revolution against The Capitol. What started as an act of defiance has now escalated into a rebel campaign aimed at bringing the twelve districts together in anarchy.

Katniss reluctantly becomes the symbol of this campaign – the mockingjay—through which order can be restored. Consequently, the action sequences of the movie, instead of being controlled and conditioned within The Hunger Games, depict bombings and riots. I find the realism to be utterly devastating.

Ironically enough, one of the primary criticisms of the movie is that there isn’t enough action, which is true in comparison to the other two.However, I enjoyed this change of pace because it allowed for the film to be a psychological drama first and an action movie second. This is where I think the greatest strength resides in the newest movie of the series.

“Mockingjay” doesn’t chart too much new territory but provides a character reliving old memories and struggling to find a silver lining (look at me: referencing another Jennifer Lawrence movie).

Katniss is no longer naïve. She is devoid of emotion, except for maybe anger. We see her as a character who is fragile, a bit broken and trying to piece herself back together.

And we want to be there when she does.