MockingJay Part 1 shoots past expectations


Sophie Hill, HJO Editor-in-Chief

Katniss Everdeen of District 12 not only ruled the big screen this past weekend, but dominated social media after the hugely successful MockingJay Part 1 premiered and solidified the reluctant heroine in the hearts of fans worldwide. MockingJay not only exceeded its high expectations, but set a new standard for book-to-movie translations.

The rebellion against the government of Panem shows no sign of slowing its intense, fiery climax as seen in the first half of Suzanne Collins final book in the hunger games trilogy. And not only did the movie stick to true nature of the book, but it set box office records while entertaining its masses on global issues and trends.

Reaping $17 million in box office sales on just its opening day on Thursday, the biggest of the year, MockingJay Part 1 went on to accumulate $123 million over the course of the weekend. And while the profits fell short of its expected $150 million, MockingJay still rocked the box office at number one.

Unlike the shaky, rough-cut style of the first movie, or the superficial, putting-on-a-fake-smile style of the second, MockingJay provided a thrilling mix of revolutionary, clean cut grace and rough and tumble realism. Director Gary Ross successfully translates how the Hunger Games books seek to explain the injustice inhumanity and violent suppression in the movie. And while the futuristic film franchise is so popular, the pressure to appease movie audiences did not get in the way of telling the story as it was written. And while some of the director’s decisions, specifically his failure to humanize Boggs after Finnick Odair’s risqué underwear posing, were in contrast to what I would have done, the film was a delight in terms of cinematic success and book-to-film translations.

Not only did the scenes from the book play out well on the big screen through huge-budget sets, beautifully rendered special effects, and some flamboyant capitol-like flourishes, but the transition between Katniss’s point of view to a third person narrative was seamless. Katniss, in her post-Games PTSD and suffocating depression, is pretty useless in the book as she struggles internally for an answer to the bigger game at play in which she starred as the lead role under strings at the hands of the rebellion. However, the film was not only able to capture Katniss’s stream of conscious, but also showed how her motivation, to protect the ones she loves at all costs, affected her actions.

Overall, MockingJay was an amazing movie and left fans hungry for the second half of the thrilling conclusion to The Hunger Games trilogy, which is due to come out next year. And while one of the best scenes in the book was cut from the movie to allow further exploration of multiple points of view outside of Katniss’s inner monologue, the sacrifice was eventually worth it.

So whether or not you want to get your inner side-braid on, fans of The Hunger Games or great movies in general should make their way to MockingJay in theatres now. And may the odds of you enjoying the film be ever in your favor.