Having read the book, I wasn't sure that there was enough material for two movies. And I had heard that the movie was lacking in action.
Wrong on both counts.
The film starts with Katniss hiding somewhere in the depths of District 13, trying to deal with the emotional trauma and psychological aftermath of the Quarter Quell. It takes her to the destroyed landscape of District 12, and ultimately to her decision to become the Mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion. The battle lines are clearly drawn after a visit to a hospital in District 8, tensions building for the final confrontation, coming in the second movie.
There are a few minor changes to the plot, including a confrontation Katniss has with President Snow. Nothing that changes the substance of the story.
I think the biggest problem with the movie...the first two movies put Katniss and Petah in an arena, where they had to survive not only against the other Tributes, but also against everything the Capital threw at them. There's no "arena" in Mockingjay Part 1, no climatic struggle as Katniss and Petah defeat each opponent to survive.
The movie ends with a cliffhanger, more or less where I expected it to, and there's an interesting piece of animation after all the credits have rolled.
Certainly not the best in the series, Mockingjay Part 1 sets us up for what is to come. I am looking forward to seeing Part 2 next summer.
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