*With the release of one of the most anticipated films of the year, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” today (11-21-14), whether you’re a fan or not of the trilogy, some might be thinking, what’s in it for us?
Some of us still feel some kind of way about all of all the racial uproar that bubbled up around casting choices of three of the Black characters, Rue, played by Amandla Stenberg, Thresh, played by Dayo Okeniyi and Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz, in the first “Hunger Games” that got us giving the whole situation a serious side-eye.
But after watching “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” it’s great to know that the producers of the blockbuster franchise are hearing none of that noise and continuing to bolster the cast with beautiful brown faces, some in very poignant roles.
About the film … after Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) destroys The Hunger Games, she goes to District 13 after her District 12 has been obliterated. She meets President Coin (Julianne Moore) who convinces her to become the symbol of the rebellion, the “Mockingjay,” while trying to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from the dark and evil Capitol.
Once she agrees to be the symbol of the rebellion, we’re introduced (and re-introduced in one case) to an array of brown faces, all fighting to take down the Capitol.
Jeffery Wright reprises his role of Beetee Latier, the male tribute from District 3, who’s an expert with electronics and wiring. You’ll soon learn that Beetee has joined the rebellion and although he’s one of the six who survived the 75th games, much has changed about his physical appearance, but nothing affected his brilliant mind. His role in “Mockingjay Part 1” is crucial to star Katniss Everdeen and the rest of the rebellion’s survival.
Mahershala Ali is cast as Boggs, President Alma Coin’s right hand man. He is also assigned as Katniss’ escort and is seen almost every time Katniss is on screen. Not only is he her escort, he’s acts as her protector and as a pseudo father figure for her, since Katniss’ real father is deceased. At one point he even demands that all her make-up be removed pointing out that she is, after all, still just a girl, not yet a woman, awww!
Evan Ross appears in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” as Messalla, a member of the TV crew that films images of the war as part of what the rebellion has deemed an Airtime Assault. He defected from the Capitol and has joined the rebels in war.
It’s refreshing to see these actors as part of the cast for one of the biggest film franchises in recent history. Regardless of what some absurd and ridiculous opinions some have held about how these roles should be cast, and by whom, there’s plenty of characters in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” that make us proud and believe that the odds are forever in our favor!
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” hits theaters today!