starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland
screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins
directed by Francis Lawrence
by Walter Chaw In this episode of "Katniss Loves Peeta--No, Gale. No, Peeta! No, Gale", Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) spends a lot of time underground, delivering speeches and crying. It's an extended entry in hormonal-teen mood-swing theatre, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (hereafter Mockingjay 1), an allegory not for political corruption and the Orwellian influence of media, but for what it's like to be a teenage girl no one understands or ever could. It's "Are You There God? It's Me, Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern"--a Judy Blume coming-of-age opera exuded out by Anne McCaffrey. It has all the feelings. Mostly feelings of martyrdom, but the noble kind that you choose to defend the honour of one of your boyfriends--the less handsome one, so there's a problem, amiright ladies? It's not about looks, though, as Mockingjay 1 takes a moment to remind when some old guy says they shouldn't put Katniss in makeup because it makes her "look 35," handily identifying exactly the demographic assembled for this film: tweens and everyone else pretending they didn't glance at J-Law's naughty selfies. Feelings of tremendous, overwhelming, Titanic-like levels of love, too, where the only way to really represent how much you love this boy (or that one--no, this one) is by standing on the corpses of your loved ones and a few thousand bystanders. It's that much love. You couldn't understand. Only my diary could understand.