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Critiquing the rebel symbol: ‘Mockingjay’

Have you ever had a half-baked pizza, the way it’s doughy and sloppy and not at all satisfying to your expectations? If so then you have experienced something similar to the response of “Hunger Games” supporters after the release of “Mockingjay.”

Author Suzanne Collin’s final book of the “Hunger Games” trilogy, split in two movies, made its cinematic premiere nationwide on Nov. 21.

“Mockingjay” was an anticipated follow-up to the second movie of the series, “Catching Fire,” which premiered on Nov. 22, 2013.

In the closing scene of “Catching Fire,” Katniss Everdeen played by Jennifer Lawrence, shoots the arena screen, sending a shock and destroying the game’s system.

This exposed the Capitol’s intention to cause chaos and Lawrence awakens in a military compound where the fleet intends to utilize her in leading a rebellion.

Don’t expect a sound mind during any part of the film. The plot consists of an ongoing war and by the ending scene, the audience is stranded, wanting more and waiting for part two of “Mockingjay.”

The internal conflict of Lawrence throughout the film is consistent as she has not seen her district partner Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, since exposing the game’s system. She is unsure of whether or not he is actually alive during the film.

Because Lawrence is in search of her partner, an unusual love story is displayed where the female is in pursuit of the man. However, audience members will remain confused as Lawrence shares ambiguous feelings toward her childhood friend Gale Hawthorne, played by Liam Hemsworth.

With the encouragement of characters President Coin, played by Julianne Moore, and Plutarch Heavensbee, played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Katniss agrees to be the face of the rebellion against The Capitol and embrace her role as the Mockingjay.

While there is action throughout, it is stretched, which caused the film to roll on slowly. This decision is easily seen to be more beneficial from a business standpoint, to make more money on the series, rather than for the satisfaction of the audience.

To lighten the mood, known comedic relief character Haymitch Abernathy, played by Woody Harrelson, comes in to continue mentoring Lawrence as the Mockingjay and the rebellion team. Harrelson sets a familiar tone while Lawrence seems to be in foreign territory.

Unlike the series’ other films, the Katniss’s family of mom and sister to Lawrence, accompany her on the journey. This brings a different light to Lawrence’s character as she is regularly known to be independent.

While it was a poor choice to expand little action over such a long period of time, there is an obvious message about society in this film.

An attentive audience member will be able to spot the question Collins has for our society, and its effect on individuals.

With bold moves such as casting Moore as a military leader and portraying Hutcherson as a helpless male, Collins challenges society’s perceptions of gender roles and the assumptions of what kind of people belong in certain positions in life.

There are many discussions that can be ignited by this film, yet so many things were unanswered in regards to the actual characters.

Hopefully audiences can expect answers in the final film.

Part Two of “Mockingjay” is expected to be released in theaters November 2015, and will conclude “The Hunger Games” series.

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