The tune of a mockingjay is said to be a long one. It has a slow pace, with high- and low-pitched chirping. It is melodious, soothing listeners with its mellifluous nature. It is the lullaby of the animal world.
Unfortunately, Francis Lawrence’s Mockingjay, Part I was the lullaby of the box office, putting viewers to sleep with a lack of action and suspense. The book is back-loaded with action, and the decision to split it into two films severely undermines the success of Suzanne Collins’ novel.
While the plot lacked the thrilling substance of the previous two movies, some of the main cast members shined brightly. Jennifer Lawrence once again dazzled in a somewhat bland plot. Lawrence displayed a great deal of emotion in some scenes, including a terrified panic in the opening one. The way Lawrence appeared devastated by the broadcasts depicting Peta’s distraught state as well as her fright during the bombing scenes added drama to the boring plot, making the storyline somewhat palatable.
Donald Sutherland was exceptional in the role of President Snow. Sutherland portrayed his arrogance well and commanded the role with impressive swagger. His speech during the rebels’ attempted attack on the capital was one of the high points of the film, and the authority with which he spoke contributed to his character’s arrogance.
A unique aspect of this somewhat mundane film was the audio and soundtrack. The music received high reviews on social media, and many users posted links to the songs on their pages. Though movies typically don’t succeed because of their music, the soundtrack—featuring songs such as “The Hanging Tree”—seemed to be one of the more popular wrinkles to the film.
The direction of the movie was highlighted by a scene in which rebels enter the capital. They open a large door, and the audience then sees through the red goggles of the rebels. Through this red lens, the audience sees the horrifying chemicals, test tubes, and syringes in the room, finally realizing that the room is a torture chamber.
Overall, the film failed to live up to its media hype. However, Hunger Games fans should hold their appetite for what looks to be an action-packed follow up in Part II.