With all the tragedy in the U.S. & in the World, depictions of abuse of power deserve
endless screen time. War & revolution are intoxicating fare, and sadly rarely the endgame.
Suzanne Collins has created a young adult trilogy to describe the struggle for freedom & equal justice that pits districts against each other, while the Capitol bathes in luxury & privilege.
In the third adaptation of her “Hunger Games”, strong women continue to lead & fight for
freedom. “Mockingjay Pt.1 ” is cinematically dark. The screen seems to absorb every color of blue , gray and brown. Some frames are arrestingly beautiful monochromes. Jennifer Lawrence poses in front of many of these sets as Katniss,arch enemy of President Snow. ( Donald Sutherlin). She reminds me of Melissa Gilbert of “Little House On The Prairie” fame in her determination & moral strength. Katniss is much tougher for more brittle times. Juliette Moore, as Commander- -in-Chief,Alma Coin, shows tactician coolness and level -headed decisiveness. Women Power looks good.
The male actors all hold their own. Woody Harrelson is unusually intense as the alcoholic rebel-friend,and Philip Sidney Hoffman’s line “I’m optimistic” will make you shudder in its sad irony. Still having strong women lead the way out of injustice warms my heart.
The music is haunting as are the lyrics to an Appalachian – like song “strange things strangers do not see”. Refrain after refrain builds a kind of theme song for the revolution.The role of the media,electronic grids and symbol import,be it white roses or hyped -up arrows,are mixed with natural babbling brooks and wildlife , innocent enough to know no danger.
The mockingjay is not forgotten either. The juxtapositions are nostalgic. The manipulation of propaganda like “showing your face” to your comrades- in -arms is stressed . Katniss does this repeatedly, maybe too often, kind of like an adolescent’s mirror time! A few humorous lines cut through the war efforts. The dead Cinna’s & pin and uniform design were his artistic contributions. “Try doomed to live in jumpsuit land” was snarky and funny!
Support good sci-fi and see.