Page to Screen: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

If you’re a Hunger Games fan, then you’ve certainly seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 by now.  So let’s discuss what we thought of it. I will avoid spoilers since some of you may not have seen it yet.

Firstly, I was skeptical that the first half of Mockingjay – and the movie does end at almost the exact middle of the book – could be stretched into a two-hour movie. After all, it’s not an epic tome like Breaking Dawn or the last Harry Potter book. Mockingjay did what I thought it would do. It told the behind the scenes story of which Katniss was unaware. These scenes are not in the book since the book is told in first person by Katniss. Some of the physical action is expanded and made more dramatic as well. Suzanne Collins, the author of the book, was part of the team that adapted the screenplay so I assume that she approved of these additions. Entertainment Weekly likened this approach to the movie as playing with the font and margins to make a term paper longer. I disagree – I liked how the book was adapted and I thought it was still a very faithful adaptation.

Another issue with dividing one book into two movies is where to end the first movie. I thought this movie was about two scenes too long. When you see it, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Ending two scenes prior would have been a much more suspenseful climax for people watching the movie that haven’t read the books.

The major deviation from the book is that a few minor characters are combined into one composite character. I thought this was a brilliant move and kept the movie from getting bogged down in a subplot  in the book that I didn’t care much about anyway and actually found a little confusing.

Overall, I really liked this movie. I wish it wasn’t going to be a full year before the last movie is released!

What did you think?