Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thoughts on the Mockingjay Movie and the Hanging Tree Song

I've read criticism that Katniss Everdeen is selfish, which I always found weird. Selfish, the teenager who repeatedly risks her life to save others? But for the Mockingjay book and movie, this criticism seems to ring true. As one reviewer implied, she's obsessed with her romantic life, with Peeta and Gale, while the world is going up in flames, while people are dying in the revolution.

But as a character, she makes perfect sense to me. Katniss is cynical. She doesn't trust people easily -- and why should she? She's never been rescued. She's always had to look out for herself and her family -- since she was a child. It's only natural that this colors her worldview -- she thinks of everyone else, when she thinks of them at all, as as intent on survival as she is. In the first book, when Peeta is sad about going to the Games, all she wonders how he's playing to the cameras, what his strategy is.

Of course she doesn't believe in the rebellion at first. These people tricked her, manipulated her, and left to die the one person she was sure was on her side. They never helped her when she needed help, but they hijacked her life once again, just as the Capitol had. How could she trust them?

It's when she sees other people suffering, dying -- that's when she agrees to be the Mockingjay. She never trusts District 13 or Coin. She is still trying to survive, to save who she loves most, because that's what she's always done. Because in a world full of unspeakable cruelty, this is what keeps her going.

I loved the movie. I felt it was really faithful to the books while at the same time adapting to the medium. I especially loved what they made of the Hanging Tree song -- it is haunting, creepy, powerful. And I'm surprised at how well Lawrence sang! (Here's the song, but the visuals are not the same as the movie.)

It's been a few weeks since I watched the movie, but I can't seem to get it out of my head! And I want to watch it again. I wish this director would go back and remake the first movie -- that doesn't seem nearly as good as the other two.

What did you think of it? Or what other movies did you like this year? I only watched three, I think, and I loved Queen and this one, and quite liked Haider.

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