“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” picks up where “Catching Fire” left off, as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself in District 13 following the demolition of District 12 and the games. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore), Katniss reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the Capitol in a fight to save Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).

Whereas the subject of propaganda has been touched upon in previous films, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” explores the subject in-depth. One scene that particularly stands out is the Capitol’s destruction of a makeshift hospital, which leads to a powerful monologue from Katniss, delivered with such force and conviction by Jennifer Lawrence.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is yet another showcase of Jennifer Lawrence’s acting talents, as she carries the weight of the film and makes her on-screen presence felt throughout. Lawrence’s ability to portray so much emotion in a single look and the excellent delivery of her lines brings a genuine authenticity to the character.

The likes of Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth (in the role of Gale Hawthorne) also give strong performances in their supporting roles, despite being largely overshadowed by Jennifer Lawrence. Not to mention the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who demonstrates how much of a significant loss his death was within the film industry.

Although The Hunger Games series is aimed at a teenage audience, Mockingjay – Part 1 is considerably darker than its previous outings. The grey tones of the film replace the fire dresses and bright colours that dominated “The Hunger Games” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”.

However, Mockingjay – Part 1’s main (and only real) issue is its lack of closure, although this was inevitable as the film series builds up to its conclusion. While the latest outing has its fair share of spectacular moments and the cliffhanger is well executed, you can’t help but feel the producers were holding back. Needless to say, it’s going to be a gruelling year-long wait for fans of the series.