J-Law takes us on an emotional roller coaster

In many movie series, the further you go, the darker it gets. <em>Mockingjay &ndash; Part 1</em> is a prime example of a dark beginning getting impossibly darker.

The world of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is one of fear and war, a world she did not want to be a part of but was thrust into to save her sister Prim (Willow Shields).

The dystopian world of Panem has become even darker and scarier in the wake of the rebellion sparked at the end of the second film in the series, <em>Catching Fire</em>. They are no longer playing the almost gladiatorial Hunger Games.

Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Clafin), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and Effie (Elizabeth Banks) all return in District 13, which is run by President Coin (Julianne Moore). All are determined to fight against the tyrannical dictatorship of President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Ex-tributes including Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are still in the Capitol. Rebellion is stirring in the remaining districts, and people are dying. It is an all-out war.

The movie stirs up all sorts of emotions; from beginning to end, you don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s expected to happen (unless you have read the books, of course).

There is a definite tense atmosphere that is maintained throughout the film. It causes your heart to race, your eyes to water, and your fists to clench.

Lawrence portrays the young heroine of Katniss emotionally and effectively, so you can see exactly what she is going through during the war, post-Hunger Games. You can also see the toll that the Capitol is taking on Peeta in Hutcherson&rsquo;s appearances throughout the film. Sutherland&rsquo;s portrayal of Snow is almost charming, which makes the dictator&rsquo;s actions and words even more menacing.

The film does have some shaky camera movements and one scene could cause epileptic seizures, so there is that to be wary of.

However, it is mostly a well-captured film with good effects and beautiful scenes, even though much of the film is underground. It&rsquo;s dingy and dark, yet captivating and provides a sense of realness.

The ending of the film set up the final instalment of the film well. <em>Mockingjay &ndash; Part 2</em> will be released Nov. 20, 2015.


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