Mockingjay Part 1: Book + Movie Comparison Review

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The two part finale of the adaptation of the finale in The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, is a different turn of events than the previous two installments, but does it live up to expectations? 

This review doesn't contain spoilers for the film or the novel Mockingjay! Read on! 

In my opinion, The Hunger Games film franchise is one of the best book to movie adaptations I have ever seen. It keeps the tone and spirit of the movie while keeping the balance of adding new scenes and keeping existing ones. 

As I mentioned in my movie and book review of Catching Fire, a lot of dialogue in the film is taken word by word of the novel, and Mockingjay is no exception, which is awesome and also shows the strength of the writing. 

Mockingjay Part 1 trailer. The explosion, the feels!

The pacing is excellent and moves along efficiently, slowing in its emotional parts, moving faster for the action shots and keeping the tension throughout. For readers of the book, who already know what will happen, it keeps you on the edge of your seat anyways, which is always a problem with me with adaptations. 

I won't include any spoilers, but Mockingjay Part 1 is extraordinarily faithful to the novel while expanding on events that Katniss did not see in the novel. The part where Finnick addresses the capital is intertwined with another scene and it makes the two contrasts work amazingly together. 

The acting is excellent in Mockingjay Part 1, and they show the military complex of District 13 well. I also like how they kept in Effie, who only had a minor part at the end of Mockingjay. 

Natalie Dormer as Cressida *heart eyes*

A minor point that I appreciated is that they let the main character, Katniss, be ugly. A lot of action movies have the characters, especially female characters are clean and glossy amid gunfire, but Katniss had puffy cheeks when she cried, her eyes were bloodshot and she didn't wear skin tight clothing. It adds a level of realism and the lack of male gaze in this entire franchise is incredibly important. 

All in all, I recommend Mockingjay Part 1 and definitely the book series! Go read them if you haven't already! You're missing out. 

Check out movie and book review of Catching Fire here.

Have you watched Mockingjay Part 1? What were your thoughts? 

-Amanda Leon

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