I actually got to watch it with Gazelle and some of our other friends. The entire squad all got together, which was the first time for two years. We saw it on Black Friday, and I'd taken notes during the movie and planned to pump out my review at the end of NaNoWriMo. That obviously didn't happen.
At the movie, I was actually sitting underneath the AC and I started running a fever about ten minutes in (I hadn't been feeling well since Thanksgiving, but it wasn't anything serious). When I got home after the movie, I fell asleep for three hours and was really sick for about two weeks.
I'm finally feeling better now, and I'm officially on winter break, so it's review time! Please pardon me if my comments seem a bit incomprehensible, I wrote the whole thing while shivering to no end. Just as a side note, Gazelle and I got multiple strange looks while scribbling notes in the dark theater. Most of mine aren't even on the lines and oddly spaced or crammed.
So I really liked this movie, but I still think Catching Fire is my favorite. This comes next, followed by The Hunger Games, with Mockingjay Part 1 at the end.
When I originally read Mockingjay, I was a bit confused by the whole scenario about what was happening during the story, just because it was written in such a weird way. I felt like a lot of the things that confused me were portrayed better in the movie. There was a lot more buildup for me than I felt like there was for people who hadn't read the books, just because I was expecting all the plot points. At the same time, some of the pacing was just like the book, just boom boom boom, with no real time to react or feel any emotion until the very end.
This movie was good, but I wish some things had been changed to make it better. Now, I'm going to talk about it with spoilers, so go watch the movie if you haven't, then come back to talk about it with me.
So I'm going to actually talk about the movie in chronological order rather than by character, just because that was how I took my notes, and I feel like it's easier to use for a sequel movie.
The movie starts off right where we left off, with Katniss trying to talk again after Peeta had strangled her. Despite the fact that her voice was originally spot-on, I felt that it seemed to heal too fast, rather than gradually. I wish that Jennifer had chosen to show some hints of it, rather than making it seem like her voice was only bad for the one scene.
When they decided to send Prim into the chamber where they held Peeta, there was a giant gasp in the entire theater. This was also the first of many times when Gazelle and I turned to each other and placed very concerned hands on each others shoulders, to show all the anxiety buildup. Even in that scene, there was something in Peeta's eyes that I just couldn't place, like this tormented look. It was amazing what depth he put behind his eyes, rather than just letting hijaked Peeta be flat.
During the entire movie, I found myself just angry at Gale. When I originally read the books, I was completely team Gale, not only because I saw Peeta as weak, but also because 'he was there first.' Looking back on the whole love triangle, I'm actually hard-core team Peeta, just because I started to hate the character of Gale. He spent so many years with Katniss and never said anything about liking her, so he honestly had no right getting angry at her for being with Peeta during the Games. During the movies, I just had this hate for Gale that grew, so I had some very angry remarks about Gale written down.
Another Gale tidbit is the bomb scene, which I thought they did a much better job with than Suzanne did. In the book, I was really confused about why she blamed Gale for Prim's death and what he had to do with the bomb. The movie made it much clearer for me to understand, since it placed a lot more emphasis on that scene rather than just brushing by it.
There were a few scenes as well where Liam's accent slipped. It wasn't that he was full on Aussie, but his accent definitely wasn't American. During many parts of the whole series, actually, his accent seemed to peep through, which bothered me just because he should have a good control over it by now.
I loved the Katniss and Johanna scenes, just because they seemed to work better with each other. Johanna had these bursts of empathy for Katniss, which gave a lot more depth to the character as well as hints to what happened to her in the past.
When Katniss and Peeta were in the white room, there was a total ship moment I had, although I cannot precisely remember why. She talked to him about everything that had happened with them, but I cannot remember the exact line.
During the wedding, I was bouncing up and down as well as internally crying due to anticipation of Finnick's death. When they were doing their vows, I couldn't comprehend what Annie was saying, so I'd appreciate it if someone would let me know. Were they even speaking English?
When Katniss snuck out of District 13, the entire I was waiting for her to get caught. I was seriously amazed when she didn't, but I was angry that she ran to Gale. When they brought Peeta, I was really sad, just because I was so scared for him. Despite knowing what would happen in the end, the writers still had creative power to damage him mentally in the middle. He was always muttering, I wished that they had made it clearer what he was muttering. It would've added a lot to seeing inside his mind.
The real or not real scene was really intense for me, just because that is one of my favorite shipping memories. The way that they put it in was really smooth, especially since I wasn't sure how well they would incorperate it.
Finnick would always play off his fear, laughing at any threats and smiling when he saw his face on posters or the TV. It made me sadder, since he knew that he was very likely to die, but wanted to be remembered as the person he was introduced as.
When they finally went underground, I was so tempted to tell the screen to just stay above ground, since I knew exactly what would happen the moment they went under. I was a bit confused since it looked like underground was a mixture of old highways and sewers. Did they build the Capitol above old American cities?
In a lot of different parts of the movie, everyone would take sleeping breaks, but Katniss never actually seemed to sleep. Even when she was supposed to be sleeping, she was awake and listening in on Gale and Peeta.
In the mutt scene, I was so emotionally taxed that I could barely react. There was no real confirmation about Finnick's death and I was mildly freaked out by the zombie mutts. During the fight scene, one of the mutts actually punched Peeta, so look out for that. I actually started laughing when I saw that, just because there was no other way for me to deal with all the emotion.
When they were going through the city with all the headshots everywhere, I honestly had to ask myself where they got the headshots from. They weren't the kind of heavily made-up pictures expected of the Capitol, but it wasn't like the tributes would exactly pose for them either.
When Effie began crying at the end, it was the first time I actually wanted to cry. Effie was actually a very strong character, just because we all knew that she was aware of the cruelty of Snow, but was very smart by pretending to still adore him. This was the first real time that she actually showed emotion.
When Katniss began yelling at Buttercup, it was when I finally cried for all of the characters. Funnily enough, that was the same time I cried when I read the book. The plot had slowed down enough for me to feel emotion and Jennifer's performance was an amazing portrayal of the raw emotion felt by Katniss.
The picture of Annie and her son actually took me by surprise, just because I had never realized that she was ever pregnant in the first place. Her son was very cute, though, and I found myself upset again because of Finnick's death because he'd never get to meet his son.
The ending and epilogue was absolutely adorable. When Katniss and Peeta were sitting inside during the rain, it was actually an homage to the cave scene from the first movie. I felt like the movie could've ended when she said real, but it was still cute to see their whole family. Gazelle and I both screamed during the final real or not real scene, just because of all the shipping meaning behind it. I wanted to get a full family shot at the end, but it was still alright not to get one.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie and felt like it was a good conclusion to the franchise. This movie series is definitely one of the better YA movie adaptations out there, so I hope that it is still remembered later on. I'm sad to see it go, but I'm glad that it ended on a high note. There has been talk of making more movies, but honestly, I'd rather that they just leave the world alone.
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