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Trailer Analysis: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’

Faith D’Isa ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Marketing Officer

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

The promotional material that Lionsgate has been releasing in anticipation of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 has been specifically lacking the presence of its star, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, but placing a focus on the new landscape the story will be set on; District 13. The arrival of the first trailer for the film gives audiences a big look at both of these things, offering something old and something new to introduce the first half of the last part to this saga, which has the most differences in terms of plot formatting as compared to its predecessors.

Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne

Mockingjay–the novel, that is–does not contain a Hunger Games like the first two novels in the trilogy. Mockingjay, at its core, is a novel about war. And the first trailer for the film adaptation does not attempt to hide that. We’re given a first look at both sides and their tactics; weapons, including a threatening crossbow wielded by Liam Hemsworth’s Gale. In fact, a good amount of the trailer looks at Gale’s character progression. It’s been no secret that he’s always been the more rebellious spirit, between he and Katniss. And this difference is emphasized, showing how battle-ready he looks as compared to her first, impactful voiceover line: “I never wanted any of this.”

Donald Sutherland as President Snow
Donald Sutherland as President Snow

She continues on to say that she merely wanted “to save my sister, and keep Peeta alive” in a video conversation with Donald Sutherland’s frightening President Snow. His response? “Miss Everdeen, it’s the things we love the most that destroy us.”

Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket

The true spectacle that will be exciting for fans of the novels is the various first looks at the new places and characters we’ll be expecting to see in the film. The focus on the supposedly-destroyed District 13 sets the tone; grey. Grey is the color that all the people–Elizabeth Banks’ usually colorful Effie included–in the underground District wear. It’s the color of the walls and their clothes and seems to give an air of dread.

Natalie Dormer as Cressida
Natalie Dormer as Cressida

But the grey does not, under any circumstances, emit a sense of boredom. As the book was, this film is a war movie, shown by the action sequences, new technology, and new faces. The trailer gives us a glimpse at Capitol reporter turned rebellion broadcaster Cressida, portrayed by Natalie Dormer, and President of District 13–and the rebellion, Alma Coin, portrayed by Julianne Moore. Also not forgotten are the other players who we’ve been introduced to in past films; we get quick glimpses of Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair and Jeffrey Wright as Beetee Latier in grey District 13 garb as well.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Mahershala Ali as Boggs
Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Mahershala Ali as Boggs

The true wrench in the game here is Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark, who is seen in the trailer being used as the Capitol’s weapon against the rebellion. Peeta is the Capitol’s weapon. Katniss is the rebellion’s. That’s where war comes into things.

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark

Peeta, clad head to toe in a suit the shade President Snow’s trademark white, and Katniss, head to toe in black armor, sets the stage for the path that this franchise is going. The motif of moral black, white, and shades of grey suddenly brings the message into a new perspective, which begs the question–which side are you on?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is released November 21st.

Watch The Trailer:

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