Monday night, I attended the Premiere of the “Hunger Games, Mocking Jay, Part 1” on the sidelines of the red carpet. The Premiere was held at the Nokia Theater at L.A Live in Los Angeles. The red carpet was a glamorous white and gold Capitol set with elegant flaming bowls of fire sitting on pedestals ever few feet. I brought my camera so I decided to shoot a few candid pictures of the actors that passed by me. This was a star-studded event on the red carpet opening at 5:30pm. Fans were screaming in the background in the distance as the actors passed by. Jennifer Lawrence showed up in a stunning Dior gown showing she is every bit the formidable Katniss. Her fellow cast mates joined her including Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Sam Claflin, Willow Shields, & Jena Malone. The franchise cinematically adapted by the books by Suzanne Collins. The movies have been a huge success among the fans, and people who discovered the world of Katniss for the first time by watching the films.
The Nokia Theater was packed with fans anticipating the movie, as the “Hunger Games, Mocking Jay logo looped over and over. Eyes glued to the screen waiting patiently for the event to start. A Lionsgate Executive introduced the Director Francis Lawrence to the stage with a loud applause. One by one he introduced his talented cast to the stage with an admiration for their hard work. He paid tribute to thespian Philip Seymour Hoffman whose loss to the entertainment industry can’t be measured. As the Director and actors left the stage the Nokia Theaters lights dimmed.
“Mocking Jay” is a definite “must see” film for the fans. In this film, Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss must come to terms with becoming the iconic leader of the rebels while Peeta remains in the hands of the Capitol. Confused feelings emerge, as she must decide whether to lead the rebellion that could cost her Peeta. In the opening of the film she is talking to herself about her internal nightmarish experience as a Tribute. The bond between Peeta & Katniss becomes much stronger as she realizes she may have lost him. Once she is stable she meets President Coin who doesn’t have the warmest personality for a leader. At her side Plutarch tries to advise her in a direct manner how important Katniss is as the Mocking Jay. Katniss doesn’t trust either of them at first. They make her an offer, and give her a choice.
“Mocking Jay’s” focus on the drama of politics gives the film a different feel. It is not the action filled film of the previous films. Jennifer Lawrence gives a brilliant performance, as the very conflicted Katniss with can’t understand how she became this courageous icon the Mocking Jay. The Idealistic Propaganda on both sides is unsettling sometimes making us ponder if we can trust either side. Especially when she says, “If we burn, you burn with us”. Is this a war without any winners? President Snow keeps warming Katniss and Panem that any acceleration of violence against the Capitol will escalate his response. As the Capitol reveals in an interview with Peeta, they can be very persuasive. Peeta asks Katniss and the rebels to stop fighting. Katniss is shocked to see Peeta in these videos, worries about his welfare. President Coin with Plutarch asks her to star in Propaganda videos to counter the messages by Peeta. The rebels want to see their Mocking Jay in action. They want to follow her. Katniss is torn between her vulnerable empathy for the lives risked and when these lives are sacrificed, she shows her defiant strength that does indeed make her the leader the rebels need. The cost of this role is evident in her expressions as she tries to grasp the collateral damage of this rebellion.
I recommend seeing “Hunger Games, Mocking Jay, Part 1” as soon as it is released in theaters. This is not a film you want to miss on the big screen. You will want to be part of the dialog when people start talking about it. This film reveals some hidden truths about the world we live in, not just the one Katniss lives in.