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Un Expert Review : Mockingjay Part 1

It was one of those spur of the moment, unexpected adventures. These types are usually more fun than the planned ones, especially since “mas natutuloy pag biglaan” is a line that is very true. Originally, I was only going to spend my Friday at Fully Booked, Marquee Mall along with a fellow bookworm. By the time we met, we were both hungry,  so I decided to hit two birds with one stone. I had to go to this restaurant for additional pictures for a blog post I was working on (#bloggerduties). We ended up having an early Korean dinner. While eating, a friend called my companion and the next thing we know we had a ride to Marquee and another companion for our Friday adventure. After enduring the Friday rush hour traffic, we finally reached the haven for bookworms, Fully Booked.

Apologies for the long introduction, it was necessary to make a point. As the title says this is my Un Expert Review of the movie Mockingjay Part 1. Normally this should be very predictable since I do blog about my adventures. However, I did not plan to watch a movie that night and the movie we watched was the third part of a movie franchise which I haven’t even watched the first two movies yet! Lol. It’s a good thing I was able to read the books few years back when the first movie was just in the works.

The Hunger Games is a best selling, three part dystopian book series written by Suzanne Collins. As the trend goes, the book series was also made into motion pictures. Like the books, the first two movies were box office successes. It’s probably what prompted the guys behind the movies to break the last book in to two parts.

Here are my un expert thoughts and opinions about the movie. This will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the movie or read the books, you know what to do.

The Mockingjay part 1 is another proof that Jennifer Lawrence is an excellent artist. When she visits District 12 for the first time and sees what’s left of it, the time she walks inside the hospital of District 8 and the people give her the silent salute, every time she sees Peeta on screen, when she realizes that Snow plans to kill Peeta, her breakdown when Snow tells her he knows about the rescue mission, her expression while Peeta tries to strangle her to death and the way she hauntingly sang The Hanging Tree, these are just some of the numerous highlights of Jennifer Lawrence flawlessly breathing life to Katniss Everdeen.

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The way Josh Hutcherson played his role as Peeta Mellark made me think about the sacrifices actors go through to make the role realistic. In every interview Peeta has with Flickerman there are subtle but noticeable changes. The change became even more pronounced after the rescue. Props to the people behind the scenes as well, they did a good job of making the torture Peeta has gone through implied but very evident. The way he looked in that last scene was perfect.

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I appreciated the idea of propaganda videos or “propos” as Plutarch calls them. Before the actual attacks, propos were used by District 13 and The Capitol to shape the belief of Panem’s populace, pitting Katniss and Peeta against each other. This seems to mirror our society today. What we see in the media, we tend to believe is true, not knowing that for the most part, a lot of planning and manipulation is involved for it look true.

The propos scenes that stood out to me includes the hilarious outcome when they try and fail to make Katniss believably deliver a script about her being the Mockingjay inside a studio.

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Next one was the edited version of  the footage taken during and after the Capitol bombed the hospital at District 8. The untouched version was powerful enough, but the edited version was the bomb! (Pun intended). “If we burn, you burn with us!” Lastly, the series of “interviews” of Peeta with Flickerman. They were believable as they were disturbing.

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At the end of the day you just need a person to look up to,  maybe a hero or a star, excellent script writing and awesome editing. Brilliant marketing.

The attack on the dam, where people willingly became the human shields so the ones carrying the explosives can get past the guards and set the explosives off,  with the Hanging Tree being sung in the background was a particularly powerful scene. It left me with goosebumps. The message was clear, even the oppressed can fight back when the the oppression becomes to much. They can fight with abandon since they have nothing left to lose. This is something the people in power now ought to think about.

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President Snow had it right when he told Katniss that the people you love the most are the ones that can really hurt you. This is so true both literally and figuratively. In Katniss’ case it’s even deadly as Peeta had been hijacked and set to kill her.

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My first thoughts when I saw Cressida were “Oh Game of Thrones!” and how hot she looked with the side of her head shaved and tattooed. Hehe. The role was a perfect for her. New crush alert! Lol.

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Alright, that ends the part for what I saw, let’s talk about the scenes I did not see. Sometimes its better to watch the movie version first, then read the book after, so you will not have any expectations.

Before Katniss consents to be the Mockingjay she had her demands. All of them were in the movie, except the one about killing Snow. I wonder why the producers chose to leave this out as this is for me a very crucial part of the story.

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President Coin in the movie was almost nice, a word I will never use to describe her in the book. She imprisoned Katniss’ and Peeta’s prep team, did not treat them humanely, this was not in the movie. She and Katniss even seemed friendly, which was not the case in the books. Even the military strictness and the frugality of District 13 was, I think downplayed. The only indication of frugality for me was the identical grey jumpsuits.

All things considered, the movie was awesome. They way it ended with both Snow and Coin thinking they now have the upper hand and Katniss in a neck brace helplessly watching an emaciated, hijacked, and tied down Peeta, set the tone of what is to happen on the second and final installment of the movie franchise. I’d give this movie four out of five stars just because of the difference from the book.

My fellow bookworm gave me good reasons why some parts of the books are not included in their movie versions. She said it can be because these scenes an either be too complicated or not really necessary and will not change the flow of the story. In some ways I agree with her, but I will still wait for a movie adaptation that will be able to stay faithful to every detail of the book, until then..

Are you, are you, coming to the tree..

more adventures coming!

Peace out!

Un Expert Review

Im typing this with one eye open and the other sleeping. Yeah, of course Im exaggerating. The point is, Im beat. But as a dedicated blogger I knew I had to publish a post for my readers (Naks. Parang totoo ne? Haha.)

I recently posted about the top ten quotes that stood out to me after reading John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Today I finally had the chance to hear them spoken. Here is my un-expert review of the movie adaptation of one of my favorite books.

I heard that some of the people who watched it cried. I didn’t. Sure the story was quite tragic, but instead of being saddened by it, I was inspired. It’s not how long you live, its how you spend the time that you have.

The actors were superb. Shailene Woodley was amazing and beautiful even with tubes plugged to her nose. She now  joins Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson on the list of my Hollywood crushes. The guy Ansel Elgort was also good. They both did a great job in breathing life to Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. I can understand why people who watched the movie cried, they were that good.

Having read the book, I was curious on how they would translate that into the big screen. In my opinion, they were able to stay true to the book and if there were differences they were just minimal. Several times I found myself quoting the lines before the actors said it, it was that accurate.

In no particular order, the scenes that stood out to me includes; the scene where Hazel and Gus were discussing An Imperial Affiliction while Issac was smashing trophies in the background it was funny and akward at the same time, then there’s this scene in Amsterdam, Hazel and Gus were riding a boat and there were swans on the water, I wish we had swans instead of garabge floating on our rivers, next was the scene where Issac and Hazel were giving their eulogies for Gus’ pre-funeral, this scene I found very honest and touching the friendship and the love that they for each other was so real you can almost touch it, lastly was the hilarious scene where Gus, and Hazel bought eggs and guided Issac into throwing eggs at his ex-girlfriend’s car, spell payback.

To view it negatively, the film is about cancer. But to me its not just that. Its about love between family, friends, and your special someone. Its about how love can make us strong enough to withstand pain. Its about appreciating what we have, when we have it. Others might not like the way it ended, Gus dying of cancer and leaving Hazel behind. Im cool with that. For me its the story, not the ending.

So there you have it, my first un-expert movie review. If you have suggestions please share, if you have violent reactions, keep them to yourself. Haha. Goodnight guys!